BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY— SOLDIERS attached to the Edo State joint military anti-robbery unit, code named Operation Thunder Storm, yesterday, paraded one Kabiru John from Nasarawa State, who allegedly defrauded several persons of over N10 million while parading himself as an army major.
Parading the fake army major and other suspected criminals at the 4 Brigade Army Headquarters, Benin City, Army Public Relations Officer, Capt. Roselyn Managbe, said the suspect had perpetrated frauds, including tricking one Ayeni Friday and one Tony Kabaka into parting with their vehicles.
She explained that Kabaka parted with his Lexus SUV , in exchange for securing entry into the army school for his son, as promised by the fake army major.
Kabaka, chairman of Akugbe Ventures, is one of the consultants to the Edo State government on revenue generation. Managbe said soldiers from the brigade also arrested suspected robbers, including Monday Aigbe, an ex-convict and a suspected narcotic dealer, Mrs. Josephine Ochini.
According to her, “on June 20, 2013, one Mr. Ayeni Friday of 17, Eguaeveon Avenue, Benin City complained to troops of Operation Thunder Storm that he gave his vehicle, a blue Chrysler 300 2005/2006 model without registration number to one Major John Kabiru of 4 Brigade Provost Company for repairs on May 28, 2013. He said efforts to retrieve his car from him proved abortive.
“Our preliminary investigation revealed that Mr. Kabiru John had been parading himself as a major in the Nigerian Army. It was also revealed that he claimed to be serving in 4 Brigade as the Officer Commanding the Provost Company. It was further revealed that he was always seen around dressed in full military gear while involving himself in all forms of shady deals and duping unsuspecting victims.
“Mr. John Kabiru confessed that the Lexus SUV which was recovered from him with registration number EDO BF 607 USL belonged to one Mr. Tony Kabaka of 18, Etete GRA, Benin-City.
“The suspect claimed that he trickishly collected the Lexus SUV from the victim with the promise that he would secure admission for his son into the Nigeria Defence Academy. He also confessed that he had duped several unsuspecting persons under the pretext of either helping them to join the Nigerian Army or securing admissions for their wards into military institutions.”
Dismissed from army in 2006
John who claimed to have joined the army in 2003 said he was dismissed in 2006. He also said he graduated in Electrical Engineering, from Nasarrawa State Polytechnic.
He said: “I served at 82 Battalion, Jos, but I was dismissed in 2006, with the rank of private. I was doing it (impersonating) because friends that I knew thought I was still in the army. I have learnt to think good things, I have learnt to stay out of crime and stop parading myself wrongly.”
Some of the items recovered from the fake army officer included one fake JTF staff tag, International passport, combat gears, an army kit bag, a digital camera and vehicle number plate.