The Nigerian Army’s 9th Brigade in Lagos’ Ikeja cantonment has detained five people who were posing as soldiers.
The suspects were reportedly arrested separately at the Ojodu Berger, Ikorodu, Ogba, and Ikeja districts of Lagos before being turned over to the Police for additional investigation and prosecution yesterday.
According to Major Augustine Kolawole, the 9 Brigade’s director of public relations, the suspects—who were named as Johnson Ayemoba, Salami Olamilekan, Mumammed Bilyaminu, Abijo Taofeek, and Adewale Quadri—were apprehended while on a routine patrol.
Johnson Ayemoba, 32, was discovered to be one of the impersonators. He had a picture of himself in a military uniform and was fully clothed in camouflage.
Ayemoba stated during questioning that he received the outfit from a friend.
He said, “I work as a bouncer and provide security at event places like Ikeja, Lekki, and Victoria Island. I obtained the uniform from my friend, Tiger. My arrest occurred in Ikeja while I was not wearing the uniform but in civilian attire. I took this picture during my birthday.”
For Olamilekan, he explained that he wore it to escort vehicles within and outside Lagos, adding that he acquired the uniform from a man he gave his name simply as Tiger, who was introduced to him by the first suspect.
While briefing journalists on the arrest, Major Kolawole, said “These impostors had been presenting themselves as soldiers of the Nigerian Army, causing disturbances, engaging in theft through deception, and at times, resorting to violence while using military uniforms and equipment. These actions, along with those of other impostors still at large, have severely tarnished the reputation of the Nigerian Army among law-abiding citizens.
“For the record, Headquarters 9 Brigade Nigerian Army under the command of Brigadier General Adegoke Adetuyi will continue to ensure that troops deployed on Internal Security duties operate professionally within the purview of the law. This Headquarters will continue to uphold the Nigerian Army Code of Conduct, ethics, core values, and soldiers’ creed, hence, it will never encourage or tolerate the engagement of troops in any act that will hurt law-abiding citizens they are meant to protect.
“We, therefore, appeal to law-abiding citizens to be wary of such impostors parading themselves as soldiers and mounting illegal roadblocks in some parts of Lagos state.
“We also request Lagosians to report any suspicious act by unauthorized men in military uniforms to the appropriate authority in order not to fall victim to their dastardly acts”.
Major Kolawole expressed optimism that the police investigation and eventual prosecution will send a strong warning to other criminals within the 9 Brigade’s Area of Responsibility and the nation as a whole.
He issued additional warnings to the public, asking them to refrain from donning military uniforms for fashion, using Army badges, and mounting camouflage jungle caps on dashboards or other military symbols on private automobiles. They’re not allowed. Anyone found in violation of these terms could be charged with impersonation.
Remember how the Lagos State Police Command recently detained and displayed masked imposters wearing military garb who admitted to being the ones behind the last-month murder of Adeniji Sanni, an aide to Senator Adela Yayi of Ogun State.