A video clip of a female Nigerian soldier assaulting a female member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Cross River State, Nigeria’s South-south, has caused outrage among Nigerians.
The corps member, Ifeyinwa Ezeiruaku, is seen in the 32-seconds clip, kneeling down, while the soldier, identified as Chika Anele, a lieutenant, kept scooping what looked like dirty water and then pouring it all over her.
The video ended with the soldier slapping her victim.
The corps member, Ms Ezeiruaku is doing her mandatory NYSC programme at the 13 Brigade headquarters of the army, in Calabar, where the incident happened.
Reports said the soldier and the corps member had an argument before the incident.
The army, on Thursday, said it was embarrassed by the incident, and apologised for it.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to tender unreserved apology to the victim, her family members, friends, National Youth Service Corps and to Nigerians in general for the unwholesome treatment meted out to the corps member,” the army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, said in a statement.
Mr Nwachukwu, a brigadier-general, said the erring officer has been identified and “would be made to undergo regimental orders (trial) in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces”.
“This act is not only condemnable, but unprofessional and against established precepts of discipline in the Nigerian Army,” he added.
CrossRiverWatch, an online newspaper, said Ms Ezeiruaku was being “held hostage” on Thursday by the NYSC authorities in Cross River, who were allegedly insisting that she must leave Calabar for Lagos.
The NYSC spokesperson in the state, Peter Enuma, was also said to be putting pressure on reporters not to report the incident.
When Mr Enuma contacted on Thursday he said the NYSC headquarters in Abuja was “handling the matter”.
He refused to comment on the well-being of the assaulted corps member and other issues around the incident.
Nigeria’s worsening human rights records under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been of concern to citizens and civil society organisations in the country.
In the neighbouring state of Akwa Ibom, a 28-year-old university student, was tortured to death by the police in August.