A senior officer of the Nigerian Navy, Navy Captain Emmanuel Owen, has cried out over the continuous torture, victimisation and oppression he is suffering in the service allegedly orchestrated by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas.
Owen explained on Saturday that due to the constant harassment in the military, his health had deteriorated and alarmingly led to perspiration and heart problems.
The navy officer, speaking through his lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, of The Law Corridor, Abuja, alleged that Owen’s request to meet his “doctors for proper medicare” had been consistently denied, thereby threatening his life.
Olajengbesi in a release on Saturday called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Security Adviser, Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.), and the Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (retd.), to address the issues of “unfair and torturous treatment continuously meted out to this senior officer.”
He said, “We have evidence of several cases of abuse of office against the Chief of Naval Staff; we have observed with great concern his reckless, oppressive and degrading actions against one Navy Captain Emmanuel Owen, just like many of his victims in the service.
“In the course of serving this country, Captain Owen sustained several life threatening injuries to his person. He sustained an injury to his eye which led to the permanent disability and loss of sight in one of his eyes. He also lost a testis from burnt trauma. He suffered a fractured jaw in the line of duty, just to mention a few as there are other injuries we would rather not mention here.
“Yet, he is being subjected to unfair, inhuman and degrading treatment coupled with consistent harassment by the current CNS who should ordinarily be a morale booster to such a senior officer.
“What is Captain Owen’s offence? We have it on record that the courageous officer sometime on board a ship, NNS AMBE in 1996 while on national assignment in Liberia, discovered that the now CNS was involved in some issues bordering on corruption and personally called him to encourage him (the CNS) to serve with integrity.
“Rather than taking the admonition of Owen, the now CNS locked Captain Owen up in the toilet and summarily tried Owen for a trumped-up charge in order to dismiss him while still onboard the NNS AMBE in Liberia.
“The Captain has since 1996 remained an object of victimisation by the now CNS in the Nigeria Navy.
“The CNS has channelled all his resources both official and unofficial to make life as a Naval Officer unbearable for Owen. In particular, the CNS withheld funds from Owen for national assignments to train naval officers for Admiralty yachting regatta in India in 2016 and 2017.”
The lawyer further listed the issues of alleged unfair and torturous treatment continuously meted out to the officer, saying, “One, constituting the court martial in Lagos whilst the officer is engaged in Abuja by reason of his official posting is tantamount to a deliberate attempt to frustrate him when same could have been constituted in Abuja and made for ease of attendance of proceedings, amongst others.
“Two, not providing necessary transport allowances or even accommodation for him for attending and partaking in the court martial which is billed to take place in a location outside his last posting.
“Also, he has become stranded and destitute having run out of funds. In the light of the several impunity acts, a host of which have been captured in the body of this press statement by the CNS, we call upon the President to relieve the erring CNS of his appointment without further delay in order to save the reputation, integrity and right standings of the Nigerian Navy.”
“The President is further called upon to review and take a positive stand on the Letter of Victimisation written to him reporting all the nefarious and unlawful acts of the CNS. The President is required to act purposively and decisively as the C-in-C, as the acts of torture and victimisation complained of in the said letter yet persist and have continued to be aggravated with impunity by the CNS, who has become a law unto himself,” he added.