By Evelyn Usman
The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army has smashed a syndicate, which specialised in printing its recruitment forms and selling same to unsuspecting members of the public.
Surprisingly, the alleged leader of the syndicate, Emmanuel Anthony, 28, was discovered to be an Army deserter.
Anthony, who was dismissed from the Nigerian Army two years ago as a Lance Corporal, was also discovered to have at different times impersonated a Lieutenant and a Captain before he was arrested.
During interrogation, the suspected leader of the syndicate, Anthony, said: “I was given two weeks pass, but I stayed beyond the stipulated date and went AWOL because I was afraid of losing my life in Maiduguri, where I was serving.
“I bought the officers rank at Air Force Base, Ikeja, because I didn’t want Military Police to stop me anyhow. I used the uniform to escort second hand vehicles, at the end of which I got N3,000. The Military recruitment form is sold for N3,000; but they are fake,” said the father of three.
Also arrested, were 13 persons that have been impersonating Army personnel. Among them was Gabriel Emeka, the printer alleged to be printing fake Army identity cards for Anthony.
A breakdown of the number of impersonators arrested showed that three aside Anthony were also deserters from the Nigerian Army, two of them were dismissed from the Nigerian Air Force while eight were civilians.
The suspects, according to the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Enobong Okon, were arrested in full Military regalia within the division’s area of responsibility in Lagos and Ogun states, between March 31 and April 4.