A man impersonating as a serving officer in the Nigerian Army, Mr. Prince Onyemauche has been arrested by the Army for prosecution.
Mr Onyemauche was arrested alongside a serving senior non-commissioned officer, SSgt Jacob Phillip at about 3.00 a.m. along Wazobia Motor Park, Gwagwalada, Abuja in February, 2016 by troops of the 176 Special Forces Guards Battalion.
The suspect was driving a grey-coloured Toyota Tacoma pick-up van with registration No. Lagos LSD 05 BM at the time of his arrest.
He had earlier escaped check at the Abaji military checkpoint on the same day where he had told the soldiers that he was a Colonel in the Army, but the soldiers promptly reported the incident which led to his arrest in Gwagwalada.
Following the arrest, both suspects were moved to Gwagwalada Barracks where a search on their vehicle revealed that they were in possession of illegally acquired weapons.
The search revealed an AK 47 assault rifle with registration No. 3290 and four ammunition magazines. Two of the magazines were empty while the other two were loaded with 42 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.
A Luger pistol with 21 rounds of 9mm ammunition and the sum of N1,011,300.00k were also recovered from the vehicle.
Other items recovered from the suspects included six GSM handsets, one Samsung Galaxy tablet, 12 check booklets, six ATM cards, a driver’s licence and a voters’ card belonging to Mr Onyemauche as well as a temporary driver’s licence belonging to one Mr Rasaq Olanrewaju.
The rest items recovered from them were one expended case of 9 mm pistol ammunition, seven sets of fund transfer forms for Zenith Bank and Ecobank, and a sales invoice No. 19822 issued to one Blessed Triplet Pharmacy.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that Mr Onyemauche has long formed the habit of illegally using soldiers as escorts while travelling outside Lagos to his village in Imo State and sometimes to Abuja.
Three soldiers including SSgt Phillip already identified as travelling with the suspect without official authorization are now awaiting trial by a military court-martial while Mr Onyemauche will be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further investigation and prosecution.
While parading the suspect today, Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, urged the general public to always have in mind that not all persons that claim to be military personnel are truly so, adding that where people suspect foul play on encountering such persons, they should be quickly reported to the law-enforcement agencies, the Military Police or at any nearest military barracks.