The Nigerian Army has arrested two impostors, who claimed to be officers of the army as a ploy to engage in nefarious activities and extortion.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Aliyu Yusuf, a colonel, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday.
Mr Yusuf said the arrests were achieved by troops of Sector 5 of the “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’, otherwise known as the Dance of Peace.
He said the arrest of one Eze Simeon, who was parading himself as a colonel in the Nigerian Army, followed information volunteered by locals.
He said the suspect was arrested around Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, at about noon on January 2.
“Information revealed that Simeon had been parading himself as Nigerian Army Recruitment Officer.
“It was revealed that the impostor had extorted nearly N1 million from the locals in Obollo Afor.
“It was further revealed that the suspect had exploited the ignorance of his victims with a picture he took in army camouflage uniform, however, without a rank badge.
“It was also gathered that he had been in the business for over three years now. Some of his victims have so far identified him,” he said.
The army spokesman said that the man had been handed over to 82 Division Provost Group for further action.
Mr Yusuf said the troops also arrested another impostor, Jeremiah Thomas, at a checkpoint in Orba in Nsukka area, on his way to the Northern part of the country.
“The suspect claimed to be personnel of 29 Battalion when questioned by soldiers at the checkpoint.
“On demand for his Nigerian Army Identity Card (ID), he claimed to have kept it in his bag, but when the soldiers insisted on seeing the ID card, he claimed that he forgot it at home.
“A call was however put through to 29 Battalion to authenticate his claim. It was consequently proven that the man was not a soldier,” he said.
The army spokesman said a search on him revealed that he had the sum of N9,800; while other items found on him included a knife and a charm.
Mr Yusuf noted that he had been handed over to 82 Division Provost Group for further investigation before being handed over to the Nigeria Police for prosecution.
Meanwhile, the army spokesman said that “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’, which was extended from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020 because of the tremendous achievements recorded, had officially ended on Tuesday.
“However, normal vigilance and all military routine activities within 82 Division Areas of Responsibility will continue.
“The general public especially the law abiding citizen of the South-East states are advised to go about their normal activities without any fear.
“Any suspected movement or criminal activities should be reported to the relevant security agencies within their community for prompt action,” he added.