The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army Military Police Personnel have arrested 12 impostors of the Army in full military regalia.

The spokesperson of the division, Olaniyi Osoba, a major general, made this known in a statement on Wednesday. According to him, the impostors specialise in mounting roadblocks around the Ajah area of Lagos and extorting unsuspecting citizens.

He said a new operation ‘Operation Checkmate’ has been launched to track imposters and so far, over 150 have been arrested. He warned the general public against using army insignias such as belts, t-shirts, stickers and painting private vehicles to military colours, as such will lead to arrest.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division Nigerian Army (NA) Major General Umar Thama Musa in a press briefing dispelled the unfounded narrative that all illicit acts committed by persons dressed in military uniforms are always military personnel.

He noted that 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 this ugly trend, the Division has heightened the activities of OPERATION CHECKMATE to ensure regular arrest of impostors and offenders within the Division’s Area of Responsibility. The GOC disclosed that over 150 impostors have been arrested from January last year till date.

Major General Musa during the parade of the suspected impostors explained that preliminary investigation revealed that some of the suspects specialized in mounting road block along Ajah road to extort money from motorist as well as indulge in other illegal duties while dressed in Nigerian Army Camouflage uniform.

Similarly, the GOC said there are some arrested fully dressed in military uniform who were caught along the Ilaro Border area of Ogun State where they carry out smuggling of rice and other contrabands.

The GOC said the arrested impostors would be handed over to Nigerian Police for further action. He further implored 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 are bent on tarnishing the highly revered image of the NA. The GOC thanked members of the press for their efforts in objective reporting of activities of the NA

OLANIYI JOSEPH OSOBA
Major
Acting Deputy Director
81 Division Army Public Relations
13 April 2022

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