Home » Soldiers allegedly beat federal lawmaker to stupor

Soldiers allegedly beat federal lawmaker to stupor

by Daudu John

Soldiers allegedly beat federal lawmaker to stupor

The House of Representatives member representing Buruku Federal Constituency of Benue State, Kpam Sokpo, has narrated how some soldiers beat him up on the eve of the governorship and House of Assembly elections at a hotel in Gboko.

Sokpo, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defected to Labour Party (LP) after he failed in his second term bid.

Sokpo had lost the National Assembly poll to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Sekav Iortyom, on February 25.

He said: “I don’t know what came over them. I came to the hotel where I was staying in Gboko at Old Barn Resort. Around 2:30 a.m, about five trucks filled with over 60 soldiers arrived the place.

“I sat there with some of my friends. When they alighted from their vehicles, they just took positions.

“I got up from where I was sitting to do something and one of them approached me and asked why I was walking in the manner I was walking.

“As I started talking, he slapped me on the face. I asked why he did that and I introduced myself as a House of Representatives member. I said he did not know me and he just slapped me in the face.

“Before I knew what was happening, more than 30 soldiers just pounced on me, using the butts of their guns to injure me.

“As I speak with you, I have stitches on my face and on my head. I have all kinds of injuries on my body.

“While this was going on, their Commanding Officer came in and called for calm. Shortly after, they went on to harass me and collected everything in my car, including piece of papers.

“The one who started assaulting me, threatened that he could even kill me. I did not get their names because they removed their name tags before assaulting me.

“Believe me, I do not know why they did this to me. I have gone to the hospital to stitch the cuts and treat myself. But I have reported the matter to the police and the Security Adviser to the Governor of Benue State.”

Corroborating Sokpo’s story, an eyewitness, who pleaded not to be named, said: “Yesterday, between 2 a.m and 3 a.m, soldiers came and surrounded Old Barn Hotel and were breaking into the hotel rooms.

“They were searching room after room. They would knock on a customer’s door and when they do not open their doors to them, they forced it open.

“They eventually had an encounter with Kpam Sopko, the House of Representatives member from Buruku, who is of the Labour Party (LP). They beat him up mercilessly and left him severely injured.

“The soldiers claimed that they got intelligence that guns and other weapons were brought into the hotel to be used to disrupt and possibly rig the election.

“The soldiers, who were more than 30, came to the hotel in two armoured vehicles and a military truck.”

The Nation also gathered that at the time the soldiers invaded the hotel, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Tony Ijoho, was lodged in the hotel.

Last night, the state police command spokesperson Kate Anene, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said: “We are yet to get the information. I will get back to you once we get the information.”

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