Friday, April 22, 2016 9:17 pm
The ‘army of anything is possible’. That was the parting shot of a retiring chief of staff of the Nigerian army in the dark days of military rule in the early 90s.
Military authorities must be bewildered that the description still fits with the arrest of a man who has been living it big, posing as a colonel in the Nigerian army and going about with serving soldiers as escorts.
Today, the army paraded the fake colonel, Mr Prince Onyemauche and three serving soldiers who until their arrest had indulged in fraudulent activities in different parts of the country.
Investigation further revealed that the suspect had been illegally using serving soldiers as escorts while travelling outside Lagos to his village in Imo and sometimes to Abuja.
The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman paraded the fake officer at a news conference in Abuja.
Usman said the suspect was arrested in Gwagwalada on Feb. 17 alongside three soldiers, including one Staff Sergeant Jacob Philip, by troops of 176 Special Forces Guards Battalion.
He said the suspect had earlier escaped being caught at an Abaji military checkpoint where he claimed to be a colonel in the Nigerian Army.
Usman said the suspect was arrested with one vehicle and other items including a rifle, a Luger pistol, several rounds of ammunition, cell phones among others.
“The suspect was driving a grey-coloured Toyota Tacoma Pick-up van with registration number Lagos LSD 05 BM at the time of his arrest.
“The suspects were moved to Gwagwalada barracks where a search was conducted on the Toyota Tacoma van.
“Items found in the vehicle include an AK 47 rifle and four magazines, out of which two were empty, while the other two were loaded with 42 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
“Others include a Luger pistol, 21 x 9mm parabellium ammunition, six cell phones, one Samsung galaxy tablet, 12 cheque booklets, six ATM cards and the sum of N1, 011,300,’’ he said.
He said the arrested soldiers who were travelling with the suspect without official authorisation would be tried through a court martial.
Usman urged the public to be aware that not all persons that claimed to be military personnel were truly so.
He said that Mr Prince Onyemauche would be handed over to the civil police for further investigation and prosecution.