The Nigerian Army has arrested and paraded a fake Colonel who was caught in Abuja with arms.
Mr. Prince Onyemauche was arrested in February alongside a serving senior non-commissioned officer, SSgt Jacob Phillip.
He was arrested about 3.00 a.m. along Wazobia Motor Park, Gwagwalada, by troops of the 176 Special Forces Guards Battalion, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the Acting Director Army Public Relations, told journalists while parading the suspect in Abuja.
The suspect was driving a grey-coloured Toyota Tacoma pick-up van with registration No. Lagos LSD 05 BM and had earlier evaded arrest at the Abaji military checkpoint on the same day, lying to soldiers on duty that he was a Colonel in the Army.
But suspicious, the soldiers reported the incident to their colleagues ahead, and as he kept driving, he was arrested in Gwagwalada area of Abuja.
Both suspects were moved to Gwagwalada Barracks where a search on their vehicle revealed that they were in possession of illegally acquired weapons: an AK 47 assault rifle with registration No. 3290, four ammunition magazines, two of the magazines were empty while the other two were loaded with 42 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.
But that was not all. A Luger pistol with 21 rounds of 9mm ammunition and the sum of N1,011,300.00k were also recovered from the vehicle.
Other items recovered from the suspects included six GSM handsets, one Samsung Galaxy tablet, 12 check booklets, six ATM cards, a driver’s licence and a voters’ card belonging to Mr Onyemauche as well as a temporary driver’s licence belonging to one Mr Rasaq Olanrewaju.
The rest items recovered from them were one expended case of 9 mm pistol ammunition, seven sets of fund transfer forms for Zenith Bank and Ecobank, and a sales invoice No. 19822 issued to one Blessed Triplet Pharmacy.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that Mr Onyemauche has long formed the habit of illegally using soldiers as escorts while travelling outside Lagos to his village in Imo State and sometimes to Abuja.
Three soldiers including SSgt Phillip already identified as travelling with the suspect without official authorization are now awaiting trial by a military court-martial while Mr Onyemauche will be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further investigation and prosecution.