A video has emerged where a Seaman in the Nigerian Navy laid serious allegations against a very senior officer in the Navy.
In the video which has now gone viral, Navy Seaman Haruna Goshit accused Rear Admiral IO Mohammed who is currently Chief of Naval Transformation, Policy and Plan, of subjecting him to doing a number of menial tasks and also dehumanizing punishments amongst others.
Narrating his ordeal while he served as orderly to Rear Admiral IO Mohammed, the Navy Seaman said: “He used to maltreat me and treated me as a slave. Because I could remember the first time I went to his office when he took me as an orderly. We were three that (were) sent to his office. He now chose only me and returned the remaining two, that he doesn’t want them because those ones are Moslem. He doesn’t want any Moslem to work with him as personal staff because he is a tribalistic man. That is what I discovered with him.
“From there, as I started working with him, this man started frustrating me. I went and told this man that my father is late, please I want to go for my sister’s wedding. He started telling me that I should go. And before I should travel, I should go and withdraw four thousand naira from my account and give it to Mallam Ibrahim to do some works in his house there. He could not refund the money back to me.
“Even when I came back, I was paid RCA. This man now went and punished me. He said I should go and hold tree with soldier ant. I should go and hug that very tree with soldier ants let those soldier ants be biting me. I could not bear the pain. He was even calling his wife on WhatsApp video call, showing her that look at what this rat and lizard is doing because I was paid RCA and I could not come and appreciate him. That is not an offense. If it is an offense, at least, there is a way he should punish me. Not up to that extent.
“From there, I went and report to the Navy authority and they did not take any action.
“He told me to go and buy two glasses for window. He did not refund my money back to me. I told the Navy – because I recorded everything inside my phone – but they did not take any action.
“Still, he asked me to pay for carpenter to fix door. I did that thing. I paid for that money, he could not refund my money back to me. I still paid for plumber, he could not refund my money back to me. I recorded everything, I went and report, they could not do anything.
“We went together to Shoprite in Apo. This man went and dropped me there in that very Apo Shoprite. He dropped me there and I trekked from there to Niger Barracks. For some of you who know that place very well, that is what I have undergone. But the Navy could not even take any action against him. I keep reporting him to the same Navy department, they could not even do anything.”
Navy Seaman Haruna Goshit also alleged that Rear Admiral IO Mohammed made him do menial tasks such as sweeping his house. He also said he was made to
Navy Seaman Goshit presented some photos which he said were evidence of the ill-treatment he suffered under Rear Admiral IO Mohammed.
In one of the photos, the seaman could be seen in what he called the ‘Navy’s Liberty Dress’ which according to him, “the Navy respects very much”. He was on his knees raising both his hands.
Goshit also showed photos of Rear Admiral IO Mohammed which according to him was taken by an app in his phone that takes photos of anyone who attempts to access his phone. He said the photos were taken after his phone was confiscated from him so that all the evidence he has gathered will be wiped out. According to him, his phone has not been returned to him even after over three months.
Navy Seaman Goshit said he has reported the matter severally to the Naval authorities at different levels all of which were futile because no action was taken against Rear Admiral IO Mohammed.
He said he has engaged legal counsel who have already written a petition to the defense authorities to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, in reaction to the viral video, the Nigerian Military has said it has commenced investigations into the matter.
In a press release dated 14 July 2020, and signed by Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, the military said it had commenced investigation “with a view to unravelling the true state of affairs.”
The House of Representatives have also reportedly weighed in on the matter.
According to a letter widely circulated in the social media, the House Committee on Navy invited the Chief of Naval Staff to appear before the committee “on or before Thursday 16th July 2020.”