Tuesday, 10 April 2018

I Deserted Army For Fear Of Boko Haram- Suspect

A dismissed Lance Corporal, Emmanuel Anthony, yesterday said he deserted the army for fear of being killed by Boko Haram insurgents.

He was paraded at the 81 Division headquarters in Lagos along with 12 others, including three dismissed personnel arrested for similar offences.

The suspects are Abdullahi Mubarak, Ibeh Emeka, Olasunkanmi Olamide, Godwin Emmanuel, Private Ahmed Yahaya, Ale Ayokunle, Robert Danang, Corporal Abubakar Suleiman, Private Ibrahim Isah, Monday Ogar, Emeka Stephen and Bala Gabriel.

Anthony was alleged to have led a gang of fake soldiers, who had military uniforms, accoutrements, recruitment forms and identity cards in their possessions.

According to him, he fled the army in 2016 when he was posted to the Northeast.

He said: “I was a Lance Corporal. I deserted the army in 2016. I ran from the Northeast where I was deployed to fight Boko Haram. I was given two weeks pass to go and see my family but I did not return.

“I went to Akwa Ibom State and stayed there for over a month. I was declared wanted and the army arrested me. I was punished and sent back to the Northeast but I fled. I was afraid and did not want to fight Boko Haram.

General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udo, said the suspects were arrested at different locations within Lagos and Ogun states.

Udo, who was represented by the division’s Chief Staff Officer (COS), Brig.-Gen. Hamisu Hassan, said they had apprehended no fewer than 36 impostors since January, adding that 23 had been handed over to the police.

He said there was a decline in cases of military impostors since the inception of ‘Operation Checkmate’.

“It should be noted that these criminals are painting a bad image of the military and the Nigerian Army as they commit these criminal acts and give the impression of being bonafide personnel.

“These suspects would also be handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.”

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