Two security guards attached to an estate in Akowonjo, Egbeda, Lagos, have been arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the state police command for allegedly impersonating men of the Nigerian Army.
A handcuff, two jack knives and a Nigeria Police Force crest were said to have been recovered from the two bags found with the suspects, who hail from Adamawa State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the police team had stormed the neighbourhood on November 24 around 6am for an operation geared towards curtailing bank robbery in the state.
A police source told our correspondent that the guards were detained after they could not give satisfactory explanations to the items recovered from them.
The source said, “A team of SARS operatives, led by one Sergeant Emmanuel, embarked on a patrol within Area M Command, as a proactive measure to stem bank robbery in the state. The team intercepted two young men in military camouflage with two bags.
“They claimed to be members of the Nigerian Legion. A handcuff, one Nigeria Police Force crest and two jack knives were found in their bags. They were brought to the command for interrogation, but they could not give satisfactory explanations.”
Adamu told the police that he bought the army uniform in a market, adding that he had never used the uniform to rob or oppress anybody.
He said, “I bought the uniform in the market. I was walking along the road one day when I found the police crest. I have never used it to rob or harass people. I am a security guard.”
Mohammed said it was Adamu who gave him the uniform. He also denied using same to perpetrate any unlawful act.
They were consequently arraigned in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on three counts of impersonation by a police prosecutor, Inspector Benson Emuerhi.
The charges read in part, “That you, Richard Adamu and Musa Mohammed, on November 24, 2015, at about 9.30am, at Akowonjo area, Egbeda, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit: impersonating yourselves as members of the Nigerian Army by putting on camouflage vests and green combat trousers; thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 79 (1b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
“That you, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did unlawfully have in your possession; one Nigeria Police crest, a handcuff and two jack knives ─ the items you could not give a satisfactory account of, and thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 327 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the alleged crime before the presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. O.A. Olayinka.
They were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties each in like sum, while the case was adjourned till January 28, 2016.