The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army Military Police personnel has arrested over 12 suspected impostors fully dressed in military camouflage uniforms portraying the Nigerian Army in a bad light during Operation Checkmate within Lagos and Ogun States.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Nigerian Army (NA) Major-General Umar Thama Musa in a press briefing described as unfounded the narrative that all illicit acts committed by persons dressed in military uniforms are always military personnel.
He noted that persons displaying military banners and accoutrement such as belts and stickers on vehicles and driving commercial vehicles in military uniform as well as driving vehicles painted in Army colour 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 the regular arrest of impostors and offenders within the Division’s area of responsibility.
The GOC disclosed that over 150 impostors have been arrested from January last year to date.
Major-General Musa during the parade of the suspected impostors explained that preliminary investigation revealed that some of the suspects specialized in mounting roadblocks along Ajah Road to extort money from motorists as well as indulge in other illegal duties while dressed in Nigerian Army camouflage uniform.
Similarly, the GOC said some of the arrested impostors while fully dressed in military uniforms were caught along the Ilaro border area of Ogun State where they were carrying out smuggling of rice and other contrabands.
The GOC said the arrested impostors would be handed over to the Nigerian Police for further action. He, therefore, urged members of the public to desist from wearing military uniforms and T-Shirts, display military banners, belts and stickers on vehicles as well as driving civil vehicles painted in Army colour.
He also 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.