The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army has said they have arrested 13 suspects for impersonation, printing of fake military identity cards and other offences within Ogun and Lagos States.
Enobong Udoh, the general officer commanding, GOC, of the Division, who paraded the suspects at the Division Headquarter in Lagos, on Monday, April 9, 2018, said the suspects were arrested while carrying out their nefarious activities.
The GOC who was represented by Hamisu Hassan, the Division’s Chief of Staff, revealed that the Division had arrested 36 suspects for offences bothering on impersonation and other criminal acts from January-April 2018.
He stated that 23 of the suspects had been handed over to the police for further action while the 13 been paraded were recently arrested.
The paraded suspects identified as Abudallai Mubarak, Emmanuel Anthony, Emeka Ibeh, Olasukanmi Olamide, Godwin Emmanuel, Ahmed Yahya, Ale Ayokunle, Robert Danang, Suleiman Abubakar, Ibrahim Isah, Monday Iyaji, Emeka Stephen and Bala Gabriel were all arrested by various ‘Operation Check – Mate ‘ teams in the Division.
It was gathered that the ‘Operation Check – Mate’ was launched by the General Officer Commanding to check the illegal activities of such impostors.
He said, “The suspects were arrested by the Operation Check-Mate teams of 81 Division operating clandestinely, while they were carrying out their nefarious activities dressed in different types of Nigeria military uniforms, accessories and other accouterments.
“Also arrested were criminals who aided and abetted these impostors by making and supplying them with fake military ID cards and the military accouterments donned by them to perpetrate their nefarious activities. ”
Some long deserters, as well as dismissed personnel of the Services of Armed Forces who impersonated Service personnel of various rank categories, are also among those arrested and paraded by the Division.”
He further revealed that the frequency of occurrence as this which was indeed very high about two months ago was now on the decrease since the inception of the Operation Check-Mate.
According to Udoh, “It could be recalled that these criminal impostors are constantly perpetrating criminal activities such as extortion, molestation of innocent citizens, intervening in private disputes between aggrieved parties for pecuniary gains, settlement of land disputes amongst others. ”
These tend to portray the Nigeria Army in particular and the Nigerian Armed Forces in general to the public in bad light as they commit such criminal and illegal activities in military uniform thus giving the false impression of being bona-fide military personnel to their victims and other unsuspecting law – abiding citizens.”
Giving a detailed breakdown of how some of the suspects were arrested, the GOC said, “Abdullahi Mubarak was arrested for impersonation, he was fully dressed in military camouflage uniform with red beret and MP hand band in Ojo area.
He had a fake military ID card in his possession. ” Also, Emmanuel Anthony a dismissed soldier residing at No 24 Iyana Cele, Ojo. Emmanuel is the ringleader of the fake ID card producing syndicate.
He has also on various occasions impersonated as a Lieutenant, Captain, and any other rank that suite his illegal activities. ” Ibeh Gabriel Emeka who resides at No 25 Isoko Street, Ojo was arrested at Alaba International Market.
He is a member of Emmanuel Anthony syndicate producing fake military ID cards. They have also worked together as impostors dressed in military uniforms. ”
Similarly, Olasunkanmi Olamide from Adeoyo in Ibadan was arrested on March 18, 2018, in Shagamu for impersonation dressed in military uniform.” On his part, Anthony said he ran from the North-East in 2014 for fear of being killed while fighting the insurgency.
The Lance Corporal said he was given a pass and traveled to see his family but never returned. Instead he had started a syndicate that specializes in producing fake military Identity cards and selling of military recruitment forms.
The Akwa-Ibom state indigene, however, chose to parade himself as a Lieutenant. He made picture frames, bought uniform carrying the fake rank. The 28-year-old said, ” I ran away from the Army because I was scared.
I came to Lagos where I started parading myself as an Army Lieutenant escorting vehicles, crossing second-hand vehicles from Cotonou for smugglers to make a living. ” I was paid between N3000 and N5000 per trip.
I really do regret my actions now that I have been caught. “ Emeka Stephen who runs a business centre in Alaba International was also part of the syndicate as he designs and prints the fake Identity cards for interested individuals for N1,000.
He, however, denied the allegation saying, ” I was bullied into printing the identity card just once by one Emeka his friend.
They brought the sample, I scanned, edited and printed it. I was paid N1,000.” Items recovered from the suspects include laptops, desktop computers, printers, picture frames of them fully kitted in military apparel, flash drives, fake Army recruitment forms among others.
The GOC said the suspect will be handed over to the police for more investigations and prosecution in a competent court of law.
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