Four fake military officers who have been robbing people of their possessions have been arrested.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested four fake military personnel comprising three naval and a real soldier said to be the leader of the gang, that has been impersonating the forces while running their robbery gang.
Vanguard reports that the four men were who were all in military attires were arrested by youths at Ilado area of Lagos State while they were fleeing in a canoe after escaping from police detention and handed over to Ilado Police post, near the Ajakoyi Beach.
Narrating how the events leading up to the arrest of the men played out, a resident, Wasiu Omojola, said:
“We are predominantly fishermen but some of us do oil business. The military personnel used to come to extort money from us daily. We didn’t even know that they were fake officers.
They would come in military uniform. Their leader whom we later realized is an Army Sergeant would dress as an Army Lieutenant Commander.
He would gather us and warn that the Army High Command had sent him on a special duty. He told us that his group was on Joint Military operation. He then instructed us to contribute N2 millon for his boss.
We were able to raise N500,000. The following day, they prevented us from doing our job, so we had to contribute another N300,000. They still said it was not yet okay with them.
I don’t know how one of us reported the development to Army authorities who said that they didn’t send any team for joint military patrol to our area. When we got the information, we now mobilized against the self-acclaimed joint military patrol.
When they arrived the following day to resume their extortion, we arrested them. They did not believe it when we took them to the police.
We were later informed by the same police that the suspects escaped from their cell, so we mobilized again and gave them a hot chase. We later arrested them and brought them to SARS.”
The police also report that the Nigerian Army has confirmed that the man who claimed to be a Lieutenant is a Sergeant.
“The Army has taken him for court-martial but we have written to the Army that after the court-martial, the man should be brought back to the Police for proper prosecution.”
One of the suspects who identified himself as Oche told journalists:
“Well, there is no job in the country. My friend who is an Army Sergeant brought the idea of going to collect money from those doing illegal oil businesses.
The sergeant provided me with the uniform that I am putting on now. I don’t know about others. Sergeant is the one sharing our loot. I got N50,000 three times but I could not believe it when we were arrested.
It is true, we escaped from police cell. We broke through the window protectors. It was while we were escaping through the waterside that we were re-arrested and handed over to SARS.”
According to the police, the men were lucky to be rescued alive as the people were about lynching them before the police saved their lived.