The Nigerian army on Wednesday announced the arrest of 13 fake soldiers who specialize in duping unsuspecting members of the public.
According to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Olu Irefin who made this known while parading the suspects, he gave their names as: Ebenezer Adeleke, Afolabi Hassan, Allen Afolabi, Daramola Olamide, Akpan Joel, Eze David, Frank Eze, Joseph Okere, Ahmed Ameh and Akpan Emmanuel.
He said, “You will be shocked at the level they are impersonating the army. Both the Lieutenant and the Major have a photo frame they used to deceive members of public and when you check their internet profile or page they looked real as military personnel.
“They have used provost letterhead to apply for visa but unfortunately they took a wrong channel of applying because we do not do it directly,“ he said.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to law-abiding citizens and other security agents that when they see soldiers, they should ask for their identification cards and where they have doubts they should make contact and we will make arrest.
“All this arrest you are seeing was based on information and operation checkmate that is currently ongoing. We will continue to do this operation to clean Lagos and its environs of this kind of hooligans,” he said.
One of the suspects while confessing, said:
I was arrested at Abule Egba after someone called me that they wanted to buy land.
“I got there and it was soldier men and they asked me to take them to my house where they discovered the photo frame and other exhibits that I used to impersonate the army.
“I was once a soldier. I was dismissed as Corporal in 2016 for going Absent Without Leave (AWOL). I bought the uniform and the rank of Lieutenant Colonel from someone in Abacha Barracks in Abuja.
“I usually used the uniform to escort trucks with goods from Mile Two to inside TinCan for N80,000 per trip. I used N50,000 to settle police, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and other security agents. I used the remain N30,000 to take care of myself and family.”