The Nigerian Army has arrested Lance Corporal Harrison Friday, who has been supporting citizens calling for an end to police brutality.
Until his arrest, Friday has been tweeting his support for the #EndSARS protesters in a video while wearing a mask.
He had appealed to his colleagues not to take action that would harm the #EndSARS campaigners.
Addressing his colleagues in the video, the hooded soldier stated, “My advice goes to every fellow soldier; you guys should not be fooled or used, we are the youths. The fight of every civilian is our fight.
“My advice goes to the new people in the system; I’m talking about 19 and 20 NA. For this struggle, they will deploy you. I’m hearing rumours that they want to deploy some soldiers to scare the protesters.
“Remember, if you people are deployed, if you take an unlawful order and you fire a civilian, people you are firing – remember the bullet may go and hit your brother or your sister.
“Remember that the fighting that these people are fighting is our fight. If Nigeria is okay, nobody will fly out of the country. Soldiers have run away from this job, some to Dubai, seeking greener pastures.
“If every soldier is well paid, every civilian is well paid, nobody will leave the country.”
But the army said Friday had been hiding “behind the mask to commit cybercrimes.”
In a tweet accompanied by the soldier’s pictures on Wednesday, the army said, “The hooded soldier hiding behind the mask to commit cybercrime has been apprehended in the ongoing cyber operation in support of Crocodile Smile VI. Rest assured, cyber criminals have no hiding place.”
Nigerians on Twitter, however, condemned Friday’s arrest, noting that he had done nothing wrong.
One Kenneth Okoduwa queried, “Do they actually know the meaning of cybercrime?”