By Festus Ahon – Asaba
The 63 Brigade of Nigerian Army, Asaba, Delta State weekend, said it has arrested three fake soldiers, including a 43 years old woman in the State State capital and Warri during a routine patrol.
The Brigade in a statement by its Assistant Director Army Public Relations, Capt George Okupe, named the three suspects to include; Mr Green Ogonna (25), Mrs Joyce Sulieman, and Mr. Mohammad Abdul (40).
Okupe in a statement made available to newsmen said; “on Saturday 30 May 20, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba under Operation Checkmate arrested another imposter/fake soldier during a routine patrol.
The suspect Mr Green Ogonna age 25 who hails from Nnewi South LGA of Anambra State was arrested in his residence at Coker Junction in Asaba, Delta State following an intelligence report.
During the search, troops found military wears and boots with fake pictures of the suspect hanged on his wall parading himself around town as a Military Officer.
“Similarly, on 18 of May 2020, own troops on routine patrol arrested one Mrs Joyce Sulieman age 43 years along NPA expressway in Uvwie Local Government Area dressed in complete military camouflage.
“The suspect claimed to be a soldier and uses that to extort money from locals and also act as escort to vehicles carrying substances suspected to be Indian Hemp and scraps from one place to another. More also, during preliminary investigation, a picture of her in possession of an AK-47 rifle was seen on her mobile phone.
“However, she was once arrested and handed over to the police for similar act in July 2018. However, she has been handed over to the police for the second time for prosecution after interrogation.
“More also, it would be recall that one Mohammad Abdul age 40 years who was once arrested at Anwai road for impersonation and handed over to police for prosecution on 14 April 2020 was re-arrested by own troops on Operation Checkmate during routine patrol on 20 May 2020 for impersonating by wearing Army uniform again.
“The suspect was caught mounted road block and extorting money from motorists along Onitsha-Asaba road. The suspect was caught with a fake military identity card, one jack knife with a brown purse containing substance suspected to be Cannabis (Indian Hemp). The suspect was handed over to the police for further interrogation.
“The suspect Mr Green Ogonna is presently with the Brigade Military Police for further investigation. After investigation he will be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“Furthermore, it is pertinent to state that section 110(1) of the Criminal Code makes it unlawful for any person who is not serving in any of the armed forces in Nigeria to wear the uniform of the armed forces, or any part of the uniform of such forces, or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniforms. Camouflage is a part of the military uniform and so it falls under this law.
“Consequently, the Brigade wishes to call on the general public and law-abiding citizens of the state to be wary of such people who parade themselves as military personnel.
“Locals are advised to report any unusual or suspected presence or movement of imposter/fake soldier to the nearest security agencies”.