By Evelyn Usman
One of the 13 people paraded, yesterday, for masquerading as military personnel within Lagos and Ogun states by Operation Checkmate Team of the 81 Division of Nigerian Army said she does so to avoid paying transport fare.
The mother of three, Mrs Grace Ayeni, said: “I was caught with an Army cap. I wear it to work to avoid paying transport fare because I earn N20,000 monthly but the agent collects N5,000, thereby leaving me with only N15,000 and I have children . I did not steal with uniform.”
Some of the impostors were discovered to be dismissed soldiers who claimed to be wearing the uniforms to avoid paying transport fare also. Others who never had anything to do with the military said they used the uniforms to escort tokunbo cars, for a fee of N5,000.
One of the impostors, Tanko Satumari, alleged to have been arrested while driving a Hilux van with siren, said: “I am a dismissed soldier. I was dismissed because I left work for more than the mandated time, when we were still fighting the war against Boko Haram. The Army uniform I wore is mine. I know it was wrong for me to still wear it after I have been dismissed.”
Also paraded by the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major-General Enobong Udoh, were suspected members of the Eiye confraternity alleged to have launched an attack on their rivals at the just concluded Magbo festival in Ikorodu area of the state last Wednesday .
According to the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Enobong Udoh, “On arrival, troops met a chaotic scene where seven vehicles were vandalised, property destroyed and some law-abiding citizens injured. On intervention by the troops, seven suspected cultists most of whom were of the Eiye Confraternity were arrested.
“Items recovered from them include seven mobile phones, three ATM cards, one identity card, eight belts, one wallet, four rings, three wrist watches, black substance suspected to be charms and N13,080.