Operatives of 81 Division, Nigerian Army, on Tuesday arrested and paraded seven persons suspected to have impersonated military officers and perpetrated criminal activities during the lockdown in Lagos.
The suspects, who were arrested in various parts of Lagos, were paraded by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Olubunmi Irefin, at the Division’s Headquarters.
Irefin said that the suspects were arrested when the Division embarked on “Operation Checkmate”, to check the activities of erring personnel, imposters and enforce discipline during the lockdown.
“For the past two weeks, precisely in support of the lockdown order by the Federal Government of Nigeria, 81 Division embarked on Operation Checkmate at various locations within Lagos State.
“Operation Checkmate is a routine activity in 81 Division Area of Responsibility (AOR) to checkmate erring personnel, impostors and enforce discipline,” he said.
The GOC said that some of the suspects caught with military accoutrements, used their vehicles and motorcycles for commercial purposes, defying the state government’s lockdown order.
“During one of the operations carried out at Victoria Island, Obalende and Ojo environs, some criminals were arrested impersonating as military personnel.
“Some of them were conveying passengers on motorcycles and vehicles during the lockdown, using military uniform. These are pure civilians using military uniform to commit crime.
“Some were using the military accoutrements for illegal duties, painting the military in bad image. We will continue this operation until we restore normalcy to the society,” Irefin said.
He warned that the army would henceforth arrest anyone who uses military stickers or any military accoutrement to perpetrate any illegal act,” he said.
“The operation is also not necessarily for miscreants but for our personnel too, who are misbehaving and carrying passengers. Nobody is permitted to use military stickers on their cars at any point in time.
“We the military don’t use the stickers again, so anyone using military sticker, accoutrements, will be arrested and where necessary handed over to the police,” he said.
The GOC enjoined the public to be wary of such impostors.
“Consequently, members of the Nigerian public are enjoined to be aware of such imposters who hide in military outfit to commit crimes.
“We also wish to inform the general public that most of those who posed in military outfits and carrying passengers on motorcycles are not soldiers or members of the Armed Forces.
“The public are hereby advised to report any suspected person in military outlook,” he said.
Irefin gave the names of the suspects as: Moses Johnson, Anamati Imeh, Ogbunamado Azubuike, Ayuba Poshiga, Charles David, Abdulrasaki Isah and Raymond Okpobrisi.
One of the suspects, Johnson, who spoke on how he was arrested, confessed he bought the military uniform for N20,000.
Johnson said that he was arrested around Idumota area of Lagos Island while conveying a passenger with his motorcycle. (NAN)