Fresh facts have emerged on how some dismissed personnel of the Nigerian Army use their uniforms to rob innocent citizens on highways. The dismissed soldiers according to the police would hijack their victims at gunpoint under the guise of being members of ‘OP MESSA’.
It was gathered that the suspects would order their victims to drive to a lonely area where they would order them out of the car at gunpoint and later drive off with the car.
Seven suspected members of the gang who were paraded yesterday before newsmen at the command’s Officers Mess, GRA, Ikeja, admitted belonging to a gang of robbers terrorising residents of the state and dispossessing them of their valuables.
Those arrested were identified as Ndidi Oluchukwu, 30; Owolabi Adeyemo, 42; David Olufemi, 47; Iseyin Samuel Isreal, 41; Emeka Ibeh, 29; Samuel Anochime, 36; and Ebedot Stephen, 27.
In his confession, Ndidi Oluchukwu said he was dismissed from the army in 2013 while serving in the North East. “I was dismissed in absential because I took excuse from my unit commander to go back home to treat myself. I stayed beyond the one-week period I was given. I went back home and stayed for a while before hooking up with other dismissed soldiers in Lagos. I started my new life by escorting commercial vehicles. I make N3,500 each day. I met other members of the gang while escorting vehicles. We came together to form a new gang,” he added.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, while parading the suspects yesterday said the command received a lot of distress calls from residence of Ijegun and environs about the activities of some armed robbers who operate in military uniforms.
The police boss said one of such incidents happened on February 18, 2019 at about 4:30p.m. where a commuter who was travelling to Ibadan from Ijegun was accosted by the said robbers who dispossessed him of his Lexus RX330 black car at gunpoint.
He said that it was on the strength of the complaints that the command tasked operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) to identify the gang and apprehend them. “Members of the gang were arrested at Ijegun, Baruwa Estate, Ipaja, Iyana-ipaja, Ishashi and Ikotun areas of Lagos.”