By Obinna Nwaoku
6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt has paraded 12 persons indulging in illegal oil activities and one Desmond Okeh, for impersonation.
While parading the suspects at the Army Head Quarters, Commander, 6 Division Garrison, Brigadier General, E.U Effiong, explained that the essence of parading the suspects was to put a face to oil bunkering in the region and to checkmate illegal oil activities.
Effong, who is also the Commander of Sector 3, Operation Delta Safe Military Joint Taskforce, noted that the 12 oil bunkering syndicates were arrested on the 2nd and 3rd of July.
According to him: “We are here to checkmate the activities of illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta because if we do not checkmate these activities they will affect us and the economy. You know how important crude oil product is to our economy, so we want to ensure that the oil bunkers are not given the freedom to do whatever they want so as not to affect us in terms of the economy.”
Similarly, in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the 6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Lieutenant Colonel Ikedichi Iweha said troops operating around Rumuekpe in Emohua council of the State arrested the suspects while siphoning crude from the Rumuekpe/Okporowo pipeline near Okoba community in Ahoada East Council of the state.
He said the troop recovered some items like crude oil, motorcycles, wheelbarrows, and jerricans from the suspects at the point of their arrest.
He added that the suspects had provided useful information adding that they will be handed to the appropriate security agency for prosecution.
In a related development, Iweha said the fake soldier, Okeh, is from Okija Council of Anambra state.
He further disclosed that Okeh was arrested on the 6th of July by the 6 Division Provost group at a new generation Bank in the GRA axis of Port Harcourt with a fake pass leaflet.
Iweha explained that the suspect was arrested while fully dressed in the number 6 military camouflage and in possession of a fake military ID card bearing a fake duty of 16NA/75/2038, ‘Lance Corporal Okeh Desmond.’
He said: “Upon interview, the suspect revealed that he bought the camouflage material at Kotuku Barracks in Kaduna and sewed it at a tailoring shop. While he claimed to have bought the boot from vendors opposite the Alaba International market in Lagos. In his revelations, he got the fake pass from a cybercafe printed for him at control roundabout in Imo State.”
He further revealed that the suspect had earlier been arrested in the previous year for the same offence.
“Actually, the suspect on the 15th of May 2022 was arrested for the same offence of being an impostor and he was consequently handed over to a sister security agency for prosecution but unfortunately he is on the street harassing innocent civilians claiming to be a solder.”
He urged the general public to be aware that it is not everybody in military camouflage is a soldier.
Reacting, the suspect, Okeh, explained that it was his love for the military that made him impersonate the army after several failed attempts to join even though recruited through the academy.
According to him: “I applied to the Nigeria Army in 2016 but I was not successful. So since then, I have been applying because my result was not correct. I was carried away by friends that got accepted into the army because anytime they come around I feel like I am part of them, that is why I went and bought the uniform and sew it,” he explained. (Guardian)