Meanwhile, the late Cadet James was given full military burial at the Military Cemetery, on Whaff Road, Kaduna, Thursday, even though he had served his country for only 24 hours.
At the burial, Brigadier General, M. G Kangye, the Commandant of the school, handed over the Nigeria National Flag, a pair of army boot and army ceremonial cap to the mourning father of the deceased, Mr. Didam Joshua.
Relations of the dead cadet were too distraught to speak to our reporter, but a close family friend of the deceased, who pleaded for anonymity, said James was beaten to death on his “introductory” night.
He said, “He arrived NDA on Saturday, 3rd September, 2016 and on Monday, 5th September; I was told that he was dead.
“I was told that he had died on Sunday after he did not survive what I was told was ‘introduction’ beatings from his seniors.
“At the mortuary, you could see stitches on his head and he had bruises on other parts of the body.
“The NDA said that he died of stomach pain, that before he could be taken to the hospital, he died on the way and I kept wondering how such a brilliant young boy, who was very eager, proud and happy to serve his country got killed just a day when he reported to start what we all thought will be a brilliant military career.
“How can a healthy, smart boy who was never a trouble maker have such wounds on his body, and someone is saying he had stomach problem; God knows best, but it will be difficult for my friend (Joshua) to pull through this agony, especially his wife.”
Explaining the Academy’s side of the story, Captain Yahaya said, “Recruits reported for training at the NDA old site between Saturday and Sunday and as you know, the training is done at the permanent site in Afaka, so they normally spend two weeks at the old site where they are given their kits.
“So, on Monday, while they were queing up to collect their kits, the cadet complained of dizziness and fell down. He was rushed to the hospital where he (the cadet) confided in a doctor that he had an accident on his way to the academy on that very Saturday but refused to tell anyone for fear he might be withdrawn.
“When he died, we conducted an autopsy at 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital where it was discovered that few days to his death, he sustained internal injuries, which caused his death,” he said.
He noted that the present Commandant of NDA had withdrawn cadets on the ground of what they called ‘welcome beating’ which used to be initiated on fresh cadets in the academy.
He added that the worst senior cadets could do was ask their junior to do push-up and others, which were still part of training, but that they certainly could not beat them.