It was end of the road for 12 suspected imposters who were caught wearing the military camouflage and allegedly using same for nefarious activities.
The 12 suspects who were between the ages of 20 and 30 years ol, admitted to the crime but some others said they were serving in the military before their problems started.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major General Umar Musa who paraded the suspected warned that any young man who want to wear the Nigerian Army uniform must first enlist into the force and not to wear the uniform illegally.
He also warned persons using vehicles painted in Nigerian Army colour of green to desist from such and reverse the colours of the their as the force will not hesitate to deal with them appropriately.
Major General Musa who gave the warning also said that persons adorning military camouflage uniforms will not be spared, especially as it has activated OPERATION CHECKMATE, to arrest such persons.
General Musa who recently assumed office as GOC 81 Division said between last year and now no fewer than 150 persons masquerading as soldiers and adorning military camouflage have been arrested and being investigated in between Lagos and Ogun.
General Musa explained that persons who display military accoutrements such as banners, belts, stickers and other items are most often not military personnel, but use such to evade laws of the country and harass law abiding citizens.
He described as “an unfounded” narrative that all illicit acts committed by persons dressed in military uniforms are always by military personnel.
The GOC spoke while parading 12 alleged impostors, arrested within Lagos and Ogun States, by personnel of Military Police attached to the 81 Division, said the suspects were apprehended during “Operation Checkmate” carried out by the Army within division’s area of responsibility.
The General Officer Commanding , said the suspects were fully dressed in military camouflage uniforms, which portrayed the Nigerian Army personnel and makes action taken by them as action taken by legitimate personnel of the force.
According to the GOC, preliminary investigation showed that some of the suspects specialized in mounting road blocks along Ajah road to extort money from motorists, as well as indulge in other illegal duties while dressed in Nigerian Army camouflage uniform.
He said: “Persons displaying military banners and accoutrement such as belts and stickers on vehicles and driving commercial vehicle in military uniform as well as driving civil vehicle painted in Army colour are most often not personnel of the Nigerian Army.”
He said in an effort to curtail the ugly trend, the Division has escalated the activities of “Operation Checkmate” to ensure regular arrest of impostors and offenders within the Divisional areas of responsibility.
Also, the GOC disclosed that some of the impostors dressed in military uniform were arrested along the Ilaro- Border area of Ogun State where they were carrying out smuggling of rice and other contrabands.
According to the GOC, the arrested impostors would be handed over the Nigerian Police for further action.
He urged members of the public to desist from wearing military uniform and T- Shirts or display of military banners, belts and stickers on vehicles as well as driving of civil vehicles painted in Army colours.
He appealed to the 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 he said are bent on tarnishing the highly revered image of the Nigerian Army
The GOC, however, appreciated the media for their partnership and efforts in objective reportage of activities of the Nigerian Army