The 81st Division of the Nigerian Army says it has arrested over 12 suspected impostors fully dressed in military camouflage uniforms portraying the Nigerian Army in bad light.
The Division said its Military Police Personnel arrested the suspects during its ‘OPERATION CHECKMATE’ within Lagos and Ogun States.
Addressing newsmen during a press briefing to parade the suspects, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Umar Thama Musa, dispelled as unfounded, the narrative that all illicit acts committed by persons dressed in military uniforms, are done by military personnel.
He noted that persons displaying military banners and accoutrement such as belts and stickers on vehicles and driving commercial vehicle in military uniform as well as driving civil vehicle painted in Army colours, are most often not personnel of the Nigerian Army.
He said in an effort to curtail this ugly trend, the Division has heightened the activities of OPERATION CHECKMATE to ensure regular arrest of impostors and offenders within the Division area of responsibility.
The GOC disclosed that over 150 impostors have been arrested from January last year till date.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that some of the suspects specialized in mounting road block along Ajah road to extort money from motorists as well as indulge in other illegal duties while dressed in Nigerian Army Camouflage uniform.
“Similarly, there are some arrested fully dressed in military uniform who were caught along the Ilaro Border area of Ogun State where they carry out smuggling of rice and other contrabands,” the GOC said.
The GOC said the arrested impostors would be handed over the Nigerian Police for further action.
He urged members of the public to desist from wearing military uniform and T- Shirts, display of military banners, belts and stickers on vehicles as well as driving of civil vehicles painted in Army colours.
He further implored members of the public to continue to support the Division’s OPERATION CHECKMATE by providing information to the nearest Nigerian Army Formations or Units, as part of efforts to rid Lagos and Ogun States of criminal elements who are bent on tarnishing the highly revered image of the Nigerian Army.