Army Shuts Down Popular Banex Market, Vows Investigation after Hoodlum Attack

Army Shuts Down Popular Banex Market, Vows Investigation after Hoodlum Attack

  • The Nigerian Army has closed Banex Plaza in Abuja following an attack by unidentified hoodlums on unarmed soldiers on Saturday, May 18
  • The Nigerian Army condemned the attack as "unwarranted and unjustifiable, saying the shutdown is to facilitate a thorough investigation into the incident
  • Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore has called for an end to military occupation of civilian areas and urged the Nigerian Army to stop soldiers not on active duty from wearing uniforms

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FCT, Abuja - Following a shocking attack carried out by a group of yet-to-be-identified hoodlums against an unarmed Nigerian Army personnel at Banex Plaza in Wuse, Abuja, on Saturday, May 18, the Nigerien Army has announced that the popular market has been shut down

The Nigerian Army, in a statement signed by its director of Army public relations, Major Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, on Wednesday, May 22, stated that the move was to allow for a transparent and thorough investigation into the recent unprovoked assault on soldiers in uniform.

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Nigerian Army shuts down banex plaza
Army Shutdowns Banex Market, Vows Investigation After Hoodlum Attack Photo credit: HQ Nigerian Army
Source: Facebook

Major Gen. Nwachukwu, however, condemned the attack, labelling it "unwarranted and unjustifiable," and vowed that the Nigerian Army would investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

He said:

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"It is important to note that the soldiers attacked were unarmed, did not engage in any form of aggression, and posed no threat to anyone. Therefore, the cruel treatment meted out to them was entirely unwarranted and unjustifiable."

Why we closed Banex Market

Nwachukwu stated that in response to the unfortunate incident, military authorities held a meeting with Banex Plaza's management to identify and apprehend the perpetrators, adding that it was decided that the market’s activities should be temporarily shut down.

He said:

"In response to this unfortunate incident, a meeting was convened with the management of Banex Plaza to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous act by temporarily shutting down activities in the plaza to ensure that the hoodlums who have been using the Banex neighborhood as a sanctuary to pose a security threat to the Federal Capital Territory were apprehended.

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This, is in furtherance of the need for extensive investigation to be conducted at the scene to determine both the immediate and underlying causes of this mayhem. This investigation ultimately aims at ensuring the security of the Federal Capital Territory and to prevent such unwarranted attacks on own personnel and other security operatives, as has been observed in other areas, such as the unfortunate attack in Okuama.
The Nigerian Army will equally ensure that it diligently investigates the circumstances surrounding the presence of the personnel at the plaza and the attack that ensued."

As reported by Leadership, the Army has also urged the public to exercise caution and restraint when dealing with military personnel and other security operatives and to report any grievances or misconduct through established channels.

Banex Plaza:Sowore demands end to military occupation

However, RevolutionNow's convener, Omoyele Sowore, characterized the ongoing military blockade at the popular Banex Plaza in Abuja as unprecedented, even compared to periods of military rule.

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In a post on his X account, @YeleSowore on Tuesday, May 22 said:

"It is unheard of, even under military rule, that civilian spaces would be shut down in a business that employs thousands over a disagreement between soldiers and civilians.
"The Nigerian army should stop military men who are not active duties from putting on uniforms, so many of these military men have been caught in heinous crimes.
"Recently, the @HQNigerianArmy leveled a village in Delta state, and now you’re using the might of the military to shut down commercial activities in a matter that is purely a civil matter; military men have abducted journalists and arbitrarily engaged in repression."

Meanwhile, reports that the Nigerian Army has cordoned off the plaza since Saturday, following a violent altercation between traders and soldiers that erupted into chaos.

Banex Plaza: Soldier slaps civilian into coma

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Meanwhile, one of the military personnel keeping watch at the Banex plaza allegedly slapped a lady into a coma.

It was gathered that on Tuesday, May 21, soldiers accosted the lady who crossed a barricade at the plaza.

The lady was trekking on the barricaded road when she was stopped by soldiers. After asking her some questions, one of them slapped her heavily, and she collapsed.


Ezra Ukanwa avatar

Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: or +2349036989944

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