Video of Lagos Woman Beaten by Navy Officer’s Guards

Brutality: Lagos offers free legal service to Okere

Written by Olasunkanmi Akoni & Kingsley Omonobi

Friday, 07 November 2008

*As Navy sets up Board of Inquiry

THE Lagos State Government has offered legal assistance to Miss Uzoma Okere in getting justice following her battering on November 3, by security aides of a naval officer on Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Nigerian Navy has also instituted a Board of Inquiry into the incident which has provoked indignation at home and abroad.

Miss Okere was severely beaten and almost stripped naked by the security aides for allegedly not making way for Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade’s convoy in traffic.

However, Governor Babatunde Fashola at an audience with the victim in his Ikeja office yesterday said: “Even though this is not an act of the Lagos State government, I will first of all apologise to you.

Those of us who exercise authority in the state who owe it a responsibility to protect you have actually turned against you. I am sorry.

“This matter has been brought to my attention by e-mails, well placed on the internet on what took place. I can assure you that our democracy will protect you, you will get justice.

“I have summoned the Solicitor-General of the state and Head of Office of Public Defender, they will go out with you, they will continue to advise you.

Whatever legal assistance you will require, the state government will provide it for you. I will make representation to his Excellency, Mr. President and all the reports I get from the Ministry of Justice, I will pass it to him. I am sure that he will do justice to it.”

The governor who noted that though the wheel of justice might turn slowly, pledged that “this one will be different. I don’t think that any act of provocation could have justified what I have seen and of course we need to hear from the other side on what happened.”

Fashola urged her to remain law-abiding, adding that the state would assist in footing her medical bills.

“This is not what our country represents for her citizens. I am sorry,” he said.

Earlier, Okere who was apparently still in shock and pain had narrated her ordeal to the governor, saying the officer whose orderlies’ beat her did not show any sign of remorse but said she could have been killed.

The assault victim Uzoma Okere

The assault victim Uzoma Okere

Vanguard gathered yesterday that the Naval authorities in Abuja had set up a Board of Inquiry (BoI) to investigate the incident and if necessary, mete appropriate punishment to those found culpable.

Navy sets up Board of Inquiry, defends Arogundade

Speaking when Vanguard contacted him on the issue, Director of Naval Information, Commodore David Nabaida said: “We have set up machinery to fully investigate the matter. A board of inquiry with the naval police involved is looking into the matter.

He gave the navy account of the incident: “What really happened is that there was a traffic problem usually associated with Lagos and the escorts of the Admiral jumped down to go clear the traffic in front. Along the way, a rating used his whip to hit the car, urging the lady to move.

“Instead, she jumped out of her car, switched it off, and forcefully took the whip from him (rating), telling him that we are in a democracy, that he (rating) had no right to hit her car.

A colleague of the rating then followed the lady and collected the whip from her. When the Admiral learnt that there was altercation between a lady and a rating in front, he asked that the lady be brought to him.

“She resisted and in the process of taking her to the Admiral, her shirt got torn. When the Admiral asked her what happened, she owned up to forcefully taking the whip from the rating and apologised for the behaviour, saying she was stressed up, that was why she behaved that way,” he said.

He said the Admiral later got to know that the father of the lady, Colonel Okere (rtd), who is the Sergeant-at-arms in the Senate, was two years his senior at the Nigerian Military School (NMS), and they both spoke during which Okere apologised for the conduct of his daughter.

Commodore Nabaida said: “That does not mean we would let it die like that. In Lagos area where the incident happened, the Flag Officer Commanding is looking into the matter. The fact that we didn’t say anything before now is because we needed to know what happened. It is not that we are covering anybody or that somebody is above the law. We don’t condone our boys beating up anybody or harassing anybody.

“We are very sensitive to how the public perceive us as a service. The general thrust of the armed forces is centred on building public confidence. We cannot be seen to be doing this and go against it. Individuals should be held accountable for their actions.

“It is wrong for anybody to assume that the Navy is lawless or they go about beating people. The impression was wrongly given that Admiral Arogundade was part of the altercation whereas he is a complete gentleman an amiable officer who even sought to resolve the matter as an elder.

“It (incident) should not be used as a basis to run a complete service down. This is a service where officers and men are deployed to very dangerous trouble spots, dying to protect the territorial integrity of the nation.

In fact, if you know the casualty the Navy has suffered this year alone in the Niger Delta, you will appreciate what I am talking about. So, for anybody to say the Navy is lawless or we are wasting tax payers money is way off the mark because we also pay taxes. So, Nigerians should learn not to jump to conclusions without hearing the other side,” he said.


31 responses

  1. i am disappointed with comment of commondore david nabaida that navy also pay taxes, it means their mentality still remaind as dogs and pig since he cannot apologise i pray for this to happend to his daughter one of this days ammmmen

  2. If the likes of Commodore Nabaida can be in the Navy, then Arogundade’s behaviour and his goon’s action should not be a surprise. Commodore Nabaida shows a high level stupidity with his uterance. Even if that story was given to him, it does not befit him to repeat same for the whole world. He should, on behalf of Arogundade admit guilt and appologise to the lady and the whole world.

  3. Commodore Nabaida has done a good work there, Nigerians really need to read or see in between the lines, A Rear Admiral in the Navy will definitely not be part of such altercation. Come to think of it, the lady’s dad and the Admiral were young folks at the NMS. The lady too might have possibly been drunk with the fact that she is a daughter of a big man what can you do to me? Unfortunately the public have not been too objective in passing judgement. I will defen the Admiral, but the ratings I might not, the Lady I am sorry for this act, but let us tell the truth, the video did not really potray much. But let our conscience and GOD be the judge

  4. I think this guy name mayor must either be mad, stupid, idiotic, blind, deceitful or he is even comodore nabaida in disguise. cant he see the video clips

    1. I think This fool called mayor is part of the whole set up. How on earth could he make such utterances? how i wish it was his sister that is involved..

  5. This is a very pitiable situation and i must say that i am disappointed in nigerians as a whole, i know it seems like we are making progress because of all the publicity this incident has got, however, my disappointment lies in the fact that nigerians have not raised any major uproar at the response of comm. nadaiba. It is an insult to the intelligence of the people of the country. Even if she was forcefully taken to Arogundade, did she bump her head in a mysterious “wall” in the process because that is the only thing that can explain the plaster on her head.

    The explaination is really lame and inexcusable in a democratic system, where people are able to think and are not forced to “agree” with the words of those in power.

    The best way the navy could have handled this was to simply come out clean and punish the perpetuators, consequently saving their face in the eye of the public.
    An admission of guilt, a public apology and administration of justice does magic in winning people over.

    If they really needed to cook up a story then they should have done a better job at it and not rate our intelligence at -10.

    I really wish Uzoma a quick recovery and thank Lagos State Government for their quick intervention. I hope they keep to their promise of ensuring justice is done.

  6. This man called mayor go be a real woman beater.He be 4lking idiot,fanimorous wolf dignifining nonsense.i wonder maybe he no get eyes see watin happen for the video, I won make real justice be made to those foolish navy way beat woman like dat.

  7. govt is the problem.

  8. i feel sorry for miss Okere she has suffered some of the greatest form of injustice to human right but really why we are hearing about this is only because she a daughter to a big man.Admiral Arogundade is only unfortunate to have taken on a wrong victim, only God knows how many Nigerians have suffered the same fate from this big men or even lost their lives. I can imagine how much of this is going on right now in the Niger Delta if this that could be done to a lady in Lagos because she would not clear off the road for a big navy man I leave what would be happening in the Niger Delta where the Navy is suffering casualty to imagination Only God would save we nobodies from our big men. To end with that picture of the Admiral reminds one of one of the greatest
    tormentors of Nigeria and the lady looks like a wounded puppy,

  9. well,a lot of people have said so many things out of anger,emotions and bottle neck annoyance but let us be intelligent all the same.the navy ratings have done very badly to have let it generate to that extent and i am sure the lady would not have thought dragging it with those boys would fetch her a bad omen like this. ms okere,pls do not allow the people who have seen and tagged themselves as poor men and masses mislead you. for sake of your brilliant future,do not rush any action or steps that you are going to take.accept the admiral apology and the entire navy. i wish they will soothe you. some expect the admiral to rush out and intervene,they are myopic ,the admiral could be attack by hire killer or who knows.he hold a sensitive post. some talks about her father,i wonder how some people reason in this country. ms okere those navay boys were no different from many below average class people in nigeria,they are always bitter with the elites,i am sure they are not happy seeing a young brilliant girl like you in your car. pls,the lord will give you justice.Try and settle this among your self,dad and arogundade.
    admiral,you should be mature enough to say sorry on behalf of your boys and compesate this lady instead of allowing ignorants make sarcastic comment.many are like okada ridders,they dont like the rich.

  10. these people are liars.they see the truth and try to cover it up. haba. this incidence is not new in Nigeria but all we hear is “justice will be served” when actually “it has been served” let us count. how many times have we had police “accidental discharges” what happened to the victor and the victim and “justice”. How many time have we had police beat up people for no just reason? keep counting and yet justice will the served is the slogan. God will help us. pls if there is anyone in power reading this, the habit of police clearing the road when they want to pass or somebody’s envoy clearing the way with siren noise should be abolished. if u are and executive or anything and you are caught up in an holdup, you should stay caught up. the hold up in lagos is a “naatural factor that affect both small and large. they are even in an car that has AC so they should be the one to enjoy the holdup. pls jo, i know this writing is just formality, what we need is change from the head. the govt should make laws to negate these activities.

  11. It is so unfortunate, that uptill this stage in time, Nigerians still look for a cheap way of making name. If I were her parent, I will be asking God, why this child. All you hungry people do have fun.
    Cheap fools …………………

  12. Sue, Sue, Sue!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The statements of Commodore Nabaida is ridiculous and pretty much short of intelligent. The remark also submitted by a so called mayor shows he’s a man of no self value, there’s no excuse in the world for armed men wearing uniforms with the badge of the country to beat up a lady…I’m military aswell but still i will say it as it is, the rear admiral never had that discussion he claimed to have had with the lady.He should be court marshalled and demoted if not dishounarbly discharged from service, this kinda of madness will never happen in the british armed forces and i’m proud i serve here not in that mental institute called nigerian armed forces..i’m nigerian but events like this don’t make anyone proud of being nigerian

  14. harry arogundade my prayer for u is that it shall never be well with u, ur family, ur generations and all ur endeavours.u shall be disgraced out of service in jesus name. for what u did to okereke, multiple of it will be done to ur children.write it down now, all the blessings in deuteronomy 24:15 to the end shall follow u forever n ever.
    for the ratings, u ordinary other ranks, i dont have to pray for u becos already u r cursed. before the year runs to an end u shall reap the fruit of ur works. some of ur family members will perish………then u ll know u God is.

  15. this man,nabaida or whateva pig is called,i think is an antichrist cos if not, i dont expect someone in its right sences to relay a stupid and unsensible speech as it were.this groups of ANIMALS are not the kind of people we need 4 democracy cos they are all CRAZY.

  16. I am dissapionted with the nigerian press. first of all i noticed that there was no beating involved, in the video clip you provided. yes am not happy with the fact that she was not treated like a lady, but she should have behaved herself because i noticed she was very aggressive. nigerians should learn to call a spade a spade.

    1. Its an unfortunate incident that nobody shld wish for a sister, mother or niece. Our level of social indiscipline is very high. The Navy Ratings and their Boss acted stupidly. I thought they send these guys overseas for training, was that how their counterparts outside treat their women, albeit their people?

      Sally, you sound like a rapist. Somebody was being beaten by some thugs and she’s trying to defend herself and u call that being aggressive?

      May it happen to your sister.

  17. The man who said the lady was agressive most be very foolish and that is why events like this would continue to happen.
    Why do we go to school? We go to school and learn our rights in the society and we expected to excercise them. For what reason on earth would an armed millitary personel start beating up a lady in public? Was she a known armed robber or a member of the millitant groups terrorising the country?
    The lady was spot on to have reacted the way she did. That is why you and I got to hear about this and stepd being taken to address it.
    Its a shame that things like this can still happen in our country. BIG SHAME TO OUR LEADERS.

  18. i believe justice delayed is not justice denied. Pls dont waste time in the prosecution. The world especially Nigerian Police Dont like the truth that is why they removed Ribadu Controvertially, nevertheless the truth will always prevail

  19. joseph comfort | Reply

    I am happy all of you can seer how usless this nigerian navy is?The useless commodore who I am sure his children school abroad knows this kind of barbarism can not happen in civilized countries where every body regardless of your position obeys traffic rules.Who said a useless officer of the navy has a right of way?Only in Nigeria can such a stupid thing happen.Does Tony Blair,Margart Thatcher etc have right of way in their country.Udeless naval fools.ITS in a little girl that you will all have strength but in niger delta,they are killing you like chicken.Idiots

  20. this is an act of human right abuse and it should be punishable under nigerian law.if this useless navy men should get away with this then we the nigerians would know for sure that democracy does not exist in our fact the most useless man i have ever heard of is this so called bastard Commodore Nabaida.this man is a criminal and needs to be fired from the navy.what if this happened to his sisters or is he gonna feel.

  21. we shall not rest until justice is applied in this situation……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  22. Let us thank the almighty God for the semblance of democracy in Nigeria.If the country was still under military rule a naval oficer like Rear Admiral Arogundade will probably be a member of the ruling council making decisions that would affect our lives.

    A man who cannot handle a simple trafic incident with his subordinates.

  23. observer from Europe | Reply

    it only shows what kind of society nigeria is.jungle city.the naval ratings should be charged to court for assault,and dismissed from the navy.i actually hold the chief of defence staff . Air Marshal Paul Dike responsible that justice must achieved in this matter. Nigeria needs to wake up and fight oppression!!

  24. Boardman . USA. | Reply

    Thank God uzoma has got justice.There is still
    hope in the country called nigeria.It is well

  25. Commodore Nabaida | Reply

    Commodore Nabaida now admits casualties in Niger delta. i tot only the militant where dying..fools

  26. […] of people watching but only another woman ventured to defend the victim.  (for the full story see and – video was taken on a mobile […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: