Two dismissed soldiers and five others were on Saturday, April 21, 2018, paraded by the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army for impersonation, aiding land grabbers and unlawful extortion from members of the public.
The suspects whose identities were given as Taiwo Ayomide, Bello Kasimu, Ale Michael, Adetileyin Segun, Olarewaju Yusuf, Ibrahim Isa, and Ibrahim Abdullahi were all arrested by troops of Operation Checkmate.
It was gathered that the suspects who were arrested at different points within the areas of responsibility of the Division were in possession of fake military Identity cards, military camouflage, fake Army letter of recommendation, Nigerian Army Badge, Camouflage T-Shirts, Daga knife, Royal Ranger ID card, Lieutenant Rank amongst other items.
Enobong Udoh, the general officer commanding 81 Division, who paraded the suspects at the 174 Battalion Ikorodu called on members of the public to be vigilante as criminally minded individual now wear military outfits to intimidate and carry out atrocities.
The GOC who was represented by Moundhey Ali, the Commander 9 Brigade Ikeja, gave details on how the suspects were arrested.
He said, ” troops of Operation Checkmate had on April 16, 2018, arrested one Taiwo Ayomide at Ademola Hotel beside Yasmin Mosque Sagamu, dressed in Military camouflage while extorting money from unsuspecting citizens.
The suspect is a resident of No. 46 Ojumile Street Sagamu. ” Similarly, on April 17, 2018, troops of 174 Battalion Ikorodu on Operation Checkmate arrested one Bello Kasimu, a dismissed soldier.
He was arrested at Flower general area opposite Fish Farm Ikorodu wearing a camouflage T-shirt. He specializes in escorting trucks to all parts of the country while parading himself as a serving personnel.
”Ale Victor Michael of No 3 Tony Marshall Street, Ajasakoma Ipaja was also arrested by troops of Operation Checkmate of 9 Brigade.
He was arrested along Iba Road on April 14, 2018, dressed on Military Camouflage T-Shirt and desert boot impersonating as a soldier.” On fake military personnel who aid in Land grabbing, Udoh said the six suspects earlier arrested for the offence had been handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.
Speaking further, the GOC said, ” the experience of this Division reveals that most of the people in military uniform that were arrested by the crack team of Operation Checkmate while extorting innocent citizens, interfering in land disputes, perpetrating one criminal act or the other actually turned out to be impostors who are unduly and deliberately tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian Army by committing such crimes while impersonating military personnel. ”
They also create the false and unfortunate impression that such criminal acts were being perpetrated by soldiers. The general public is please requested to be wary of the fact that the nefarious activities of land grabbers deliberately working with impostors in military uniform to defraud and dispossess unsuspecting landowners of their lands is now proliferated.
” The public should particularly be wary of the fact that not all the people that they are seeing around them in various military uniforms are bona-fide military personnel, ” he maintained.
Abdullahi who was dismissed in 2015 spoke on how and why he was arrested. He said, ” I was serving in Damaturu but was dismissed in 2015. I was dismissed because I was given a pass to go and sort my salary issues but I never came back.
From there I just went my way because I felt I should not be in that bush without salary for nine months. ” I never escorted vehicles as alleged and till date, I have not seen my nine months salary, ” he lamented.
Udoh also appreciated the general public and indeed the people of Lagos and Ogun states for their continued cooperation and urged them to always give timely information that will help the Division in its operational efforts on day to day basis.
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