Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
A fake army officer who bears the name Bartholomew Paul, and specialises in smuggling cars into the country, has been arrested by the Kogi State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
It was alleged that the accused was posing as an army officer in the state.
The suspect was paraded yesterday along with seven others for their alleged involvement in pipeline vandalism, vandalism of telecommunication cables, illegal dealings on transformer cables and illegal possession and dealings in firearms and ammunition.
Parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Lokoja, the state Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Everestus Obiyo, said the alleged impersonator was arrested at the Nigeria Army check-point at Ayere in the Western part of the state.
Paul, according to the commandant, has been smuggling cars from Seme Border using the military uniform.
In his statement, Paul told journalists how he was caught by security agencies in Kogi State.
According to him, â€œI am a driver who usually buys cars for people. At the military checking point, the soldiers stopped me because the car that I drove was tinted. They asked me who the owner of the vehicle was, quickly I responded that I am not the owner but it belongs to my brother. Then, they insisted that they are going to search the vehicle. When they searched the vehicle, they discovered where I kept the military uniform inside the boot with my fake military identity card. My friend advised me to do the fake military identity card to prevent security men from stopping me on the road while smuggling fairly used cars into the country.
I used to smuggle car from Kotonou.â€
The suspect alleged that one Sergeant Sanni Bello attached to 323 artillery brigade in Akure, Ondo State, helped him to make the fake identity card.
â€œSergeant Bello said I should keep the identity card and the military uniform inside the vehicle so that wherever I am, there wonâ€™t be problem with security officers stopping me on the road,â€ the suspect added.
Items recovered from Paul are Black Lexus SUV, full military uniform, two number of military uniform passport, dependent military identity car and two number identity cards, bearing different name.
Other suspects paraded by the command for pipeline vandalism and illegal possession of fire arms and ammunition are Mohammed Adamu, Abubakar Abdulkareem, Hafiz Musa, Faruk Ibrahim, Oseni Yau, Adamu Asuba, and Gideon Isaac.
All the suspects, according to the commandant, will be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.