By Senator Iroegbu and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Nigerian Army on Friday paraded one Prince Onyemauche who had been impersonating an army Colonel to carry out his nefarious activities.
This is coming barely three days after the Nigerian Navy declared an alleged impostor, “Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle” , who collected bribe from unsuspecting members of the public as a Senior Naval Officer, wanted for impersonation.
Parading him yesterday in Abuja, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, said 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.
Usman said Onyemuche was arrested alongside SSgt. Jacob Phillip with service number 79NA/19278 on February 17, 2016 along Wazobia Mitir Park, Gwagwalada Abuja at about 12:30 am, by the troops of 176 Special Forces Guards Battalion.
He said: “Mr. Prince Onyemauche had earlier escaped check from Abaji Military check point where he claimed to be a Colonel in the Nigerian Army. Following their arrest, both suspect were moved to Gwagwalada Barracks where a search was conducted on Toyota Tacoma van in which they were travelling.”
Usman added that, “the search revealed an AK 47 rifle with registration number 3290 and four magazines, out of which, two were empty while the other two were loaded with 42 rounds of 7.62mm ammuniton. A Luger pistol, 21x9mm parabellium and the sum of One Million, Eleven Thousand, Three hundred Naira (N1,011,300.00).”
Also recovered include; six phones, one Samsung tablet, 12 cheque booklets, 6 ATM cards, Toyota Tacoma pick up van, one Driver’s License belonging to Onyemauche, one temporary driver’s license belonging to Mr. Rasaq Olarenwaju, one Expended case of 9mm Parabellium ammunition, one INEC voters card belonging to him, 7 funds transfer funds for Zenith bank and Ecobank and Sakes invoice number 19822 for Blessed Triplet Pharmacy.
The Army Spokesman said that it was discovered that the suspect had it as a habit of illegally using soldiers as escorts while travelling outside Lagos to his village in Imo state and sometimes to Abuja.
Usman explained that the three identified soldiers including SSgt. Jacob Phillip, who travelled with him without official authorisation were awaiting trial by a court martial. He however said the suspect would be handed over to the police for further investigation.
The cases of people impersonating military personnels including the Service Chiefs are on the increase including those with fake facebook and twitter accounts.
The Naval Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Christian Ezekobe, had earlier this week called for the arrest of one “Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle” who claims to be a senior officer of the Nigerian Navy collected the sum of N100,000.00 from Mr Olugbemiga Ayeni as mobilisation fee for investigation into alleged fraudulent dealings involving another naval officer, whose name was given as Prince Aderemi, Aderemi’s wife and one Mr Olugbenga Ayeni.
Ezekobe said that following a report and a formal complaint forwarded to the Naval Headquarters by Mr Olugbemiga Ayeni on the behavior of the said “Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle”, the Nigerian Navy carried out a thorough investigation on the identity of the names mentioned and discovered that the men who were parading as officers of the Nigerian Navy were impostors.
“To this end, the Nigerian Navy wishes to state categorically that the said Prince Aderemi is not a naval rating as alleged. Also Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle whose photograph is hereby attached to this disclaimer is not a Nigerian Navy officer. The naval uniform insignia worn by the suspect is fake as such not that of the Nigerian Navy,” he stated.
“Therefore he cannot be serving in the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy as alleged in the news report,” he added.
The DINFO declare that the said “Captain OA Olugboyega is a wanted Person by the Nigerian Navy for offences ranging from impersonation and illegal possession of fire arms as shown in the attached pictures”.