Chief Of Army Staff Orders Army Personnel To End Comments On Female Soldier Who Was Allegedly Harassed By Senior Officers


Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, a senior officer in the Nigerian Army, has issued a directive ordering commanders and personnel to refrain from making further comments on the case of Corporal Ruth Ogunleye, who accused two colonels and a Brigadier-General of sexual harassment. The female soldier made the allegations in a viral video, leading to her subsequent arrest and transfer to Abuja.

In response to the situation, General Lagbaja, through a memo signed by Brigadier General PO Alimikhena on January 29, 2024, conveyed the Chief of Army Staff’s directive. The memo emphasized that no official comments should be made on the allegations until the investigation by the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police (NACMP) is completed. Commanders at all levels were instructed to caution their personnel against making official statements regarding the soldier’s accusations.

Corporal Ruth Ogunleye, stationed in Lagos, had identified the officers—Col. I.B. Abdulkareem, Col. G.S. Ogor, and Brig. Gen. I.B. Solebo—in her video, alleging sexual harassment and intimidation. The Army, in an earlier release by Major-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, announced an investigation into the alleged maltreatment but stressed that the soldier failed to inform relevant bodies before releasing the video.

Despite Ruth’s arrest, sources revealed that the military authorities had not taken action against the officers she accused of sexual harassment. The soldier was reportedly detained, claiming she was undergoing rehabilitation, while the senior male officers she implicated remained untouched.

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