Pandemonium broke out yesterday at the premises of Evbuoriaria Magistrate Court, Benin City, Edo State where soldiers forcefully released four suspects who were billed to face trial for traffic offences.The suspects are Edna Oriakogba (driver), Paulinus Ekwugwu, Eddy Inogie and Okwolise Lucky. Prior to this, the suspects were taken to War Against Indiscipline (WAI) office located within the premises of the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism by the officers, who had earlier impounded a Mitsubishi car, BEN 451 FH driven by the suspected offenders for an alleged traffic offence committed at the Airport Road in Benin.
At the WAI office, seven soldiers were said to have allegedly created a scene as they stormed the place,shot into the air before beating up a staff of the agency.Not done, the soldiers later moved to the Evbuoriaria Magistrate Court where the suspects were to be arraigned because they could not secure their release at the WAI office.The soldiers stormed the court premises in a Toyota Hilux vehicle while the WAI officers were waiting for the case to be assigned and transferred the suspects from the WAI vehicle into the Toyota.
Their action caused panic, as many poeple who were within the court premises including the staff, fled into safety.In his reaction, the Chief Magistrate, who was in court, described the action of the soldiers as shameful and ordered that a petition be written against them.The state Chairman of WAI, David Olukoga, alleged that the soldiers, who carried out the action, were attached to a construction company in Benin. He said they acted on the order of an expatriate, who works for the company.