Lagos State Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni yesterday paraded three fake soldiers, one fake Air Force personnel and three car snatchers.
The ‘fake soldiers’ are Markus Gabriel (22) from Ngwa in Abia State, Ikemefuna Ude (39) from Agwu (Enugu). Their Air Force accomplice is Dare Tijani (28) from Ikire in Osun State.
The others are Chukwuma Ikechukwu, 31 from Ohafia, Abia State, Israel Damascus, 32, a Ghanaian and Lucky Anene, 25, from Okuzu in Delta State.
Five cars and two Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were recovered from them. One of the SUVs was marked BNS513AA. Among the cars were two Toyota Camry with number plates TGD733AA and ANA360AA.
Owoseni urged Lagosians to be part of the fight against hoodlums to enhance community policing, saying: “Even if you post one million policemen here in Lagos, it will not be enough.”
Owoseni said investigation revealed that Tijani, who claimed to be a dismissed personnel from the Nigerian Air Force, Kaduna, was never an air force personnel.
He said that the suspect would soon be charged to court.
He said the suspect threatened to blow up the Command Headquarters because policemen at Ipaja Division refused to grant his friend bail.
In the same vein, the police in Lagos also arrested three fake soldiers at Iyana Oba area of Ojo.
The raid of people selling noodles at odd hours, he said, became necessary because robbers use those spots as hide-outs for their weapons before going on operation.
Drug peddlers, he said, also use those spots to sell hard drugs.
Tijani said he was into children entertainment, adding that he got the Air Force uniform from his friend Mutiu, a soldier, to enable him poses as an officer when he goes to meet his fiancee, Shade.
He said he was arrested in a bus at Iyana Ipaja.
Tijani noted that he was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force in 2010 and served at the Air Force workshop in Kanduna.
“I came to Lagos to seek for greener pasture after his dismissal from service.
On arrival, I started working as a DJ along with some of my friends. One of friend who is also a DJ was arrested by the police at Iyana Ipaja while driving. I had gone to secure his bail dressed in Air Force uniform.
“I stormed out of the station when the police at Ipaja refused to accord me my due respect as a man in military uniform and threatened to come back with some of my colleagues.
I was subsequently detained and later brought to the command Headquarters. It was during interrogation that the police discovered that I was fake personnel,” he added.
Ude, who claimed to be a printer, said the other suspects came to his office at Ojo to scan and print military identity cards at N700 each.
He stated that they claimed they lost their original identity cards, adding that he did not know they wanted to commit crime with the cards.
Anene said he wore the military uniform to escort cars which he did not know were snatched.
Damascus said he came to Nigeria in 2011, adding that his friend, Jerry introduced him into car stealing.
He said he had done two operations but met his waterloo in the third operation.