The Nigerian Navy ship, NNS Wey, Navy Town, Lagos, has arrested six persons for masquerading as naval personnel, with a warning to others still engaged in such act to desist from it or face same fate as the arrested suspects.
Among the suspects were a staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, a dismissed Naval rating and son of a retired policeman.
Briefing newsmen, yesterday, on how they were arrested, the Commander, NNS Wey, Commodore Ignatus Iliya, explained that the arrest became necessary following the use of personnel’s uniform and accouterments by some unscrupulous elements to commit crimes and other vices which dents the service’s image.
He said Navy uniform, identity cards, caps and uniforms of other sister forces were recovered from the suspects.
According to him, “Usman Shehu who is supposed to be a staff of NPA has two identity cards, one for NPA and another for the Navy.
“Nemesis caught up with him as he was driving through our gate and identified himself as a Lieutenant and even showed his identify card. But the eagled eye operatives spotted him with another identity card bearing NPA and when he was subjected to questioning, he could not give reasonable reply.
“He was subsequently arrested and when his apartment was searched, incriminating documents were recovered.
“As for Imily Victor, he was arrested in complete Navy uniform at Okokomaiko. During investigation, he mentioned some of his friends that were involved. One of them is Emeka Amarachi who is currently at large.
“When we got to his house, we found both Naval and Army uniforms, including other items. Among the recovered items were his photographs in complete Navy uniform and where he posed with serving military personnel, apparently to deceive people that he is genuine.
“What he does is to cash in on any occasion organised by serving military personnel and would end up taking shots with them.
“As for Mohammed Yahaya, he has been parading himself as Peter, Paul, John and Nasiru. He said he was a Christian that converted to Islam.
“He was arrested in a Navy pull-over and combat trousers, in Navy quarters, inside Navy Town.
“He came to visit a rating who we are currently on the look out for. When his phone contacts was scrolled, we contacted one Jubril to come and identified him and when he came, he was arrested and during investigation, he was discovered to be a dismissed rating who was teaching Jubril the norms in the Navy.
“As for Anyanwu Chimezie, otherwise known as Simplicity, he was also arrested in complete Navy uniform. What gave him away was when he paid homage to a subordinate inside our barracks, which is never the case.”
We are of Merchant Navy —Suspects
However, two of the suspects claimed they were officials of the Merchant Navy. One of them, 35-year-old Usman said: “I am a staff of NPA and also a Merchant Navy.
“I was on board a ship when somebody came and suggested that there was need for us to do Navy identity card, that the Navy and NPA work hand-in-hand.
“That was how I got the Navy identity card. But I did not know he was lying.”