Lance Corporal Philomena Nnamoko, a female soldier assigned to Ilese Sappers Barracks, Division 2, Ogun State, claimed in an interview with Sunday PUNCH on January 28, 2024, that she had been beaten and sent to the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital after being subjected to harassment and bullying by her senior colleagues for refusing to comply with their advances.
During the interview, Philomena talked about being approached sexually by some of her superiors. She also claimed to have written multiple letters asking to be released from the army voluntarily, but that requests had been denied.
The soldier’s only child, Emmanuel Brown, confirmed to our correspondent on Monday night that she had been beaten and taken to a mental health facility. He said he had learned that his mother was assaulted on Sunday night.
“I received the information about ten o’clock at night, and I hurried to the Medical Reception Station within the barracks,” he stated. She was not breathing when I arrived. When she came to, she described how they had beaten her. She has bruises all over her body, which saddens me and makes me feel terrible from stress. She even puked while we were there, so I had to clean her up and wrap her in clothes because she was getting cold.
“This morning, Monday, I arrived at the MRS and saw that she had been taken to the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital.” I didn’t understand what had happened to her to make her need to be admitted to a mental health facility.
Corroborating Brown’s account, Philomena’s lawyer, Kayode Oshiyemi, also told our correspondent that his client was assaulted by a senior officer on Monday, alleging that they lied that she had a mental disorder to cover up for the assault.
He said, “She was assaulted yesterday (Sunday) by a captain in the barracks. They lied that she had mental issues to cover up the assault. They called her to the office this morning (Monday) and assaulted her. As we speak, she has been taken to Yaba under the guise that she has mental illness.
“But, she is very stable, and there is nothing wrong with her. She has been my client for over one year, so I know there is nothing wrong with her mentally. She consistently gave details of how she was harassed, assaulted and nearly raped. She is mentally stable, as she did not show any trace of mental illness. She brought documents to my office and answered all my questions very well. Whenever she was harassed, she called to inform me of the developments.
“They kept asking her to write (discharge) letters which were not submitted to the appropriate quarters.”
Philomena’s twin brother, Philip Edwin, also insisted to our correspondent that nothing was wrong with his twin sister’s mental health, as they were both relating properly. He said, “Her son just called me today (Monday) and explained what happened to her last night. Meanwhile, she (Philomena) was with me last Wednesday, and we spoke very well. She is mentally okay, and even my friends can testify to it. There is nothing wrong with her mentally.
“I am feeling horrible, and I am not happy about it. The Army has a problem with her, and that is what is causing these issues.”
Meanwhile, all efforts to speak with the army’s spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, proved abortive as his number was unreachable, and he did not reply to messages sent to him via SMS and WhatsApp as of the time of filing this report.