The Nigerian Army’s 81 Division in Lagos held a public parade on Monday to showcase six individuals apprehended for impersonating military personnel. Lieutenant Ayodeji Owoyomi, speaking on behalf of Brigadier General Mohammed Abubakar, Commander of the 81 Division Provost Group, presented the suspects to journalists at the division’s headquarters on Victoria Island. Owoyomi also disclosed that the division was actively pursuing a man who was falsely representing himself as a Brigadier General.
The arrested impersonators were identified as Abdulhakeem Mohammed, Babale Salisu, Christopher Francis, Vivian Titus, Jude Nwanosike, and Dennis Embeleakpo. Salisu, one of the suspects, was described as a former member of the military who had been dismissed. Owoyomi revealed that Salisu was apprehended on October 26, 2021, at ABC Building, Broad Street, Lagos Island, while attempting to forcefully evict occupants from the building. Salisu was found wearing the Nigerian Armed Forces Woodland Camouflage Uniform during the arrest.
Titus, a female suspect, was arrested on May 20, 2023, at Agip Gate, Nigerian Army Cantonment Ojo Mammy Market, following a tip-off. She was discovered wearing the Nigerian military woodland camouflage shirt and carrying a fake ID card with the number 09NA/63/1988, indicating a Corporal rank. Owoyomi mentioned that she possessed various pictures on her mobile phone showing her dressed in military uniform. The military stated that Titus had been arrested multiple times by the military police and handed over to the state Commissioner of Police on January 5, 2023, labeling her as an unrepentant impostor.
Owoyomi expressed concern that some of the suspects previously apprehended by the military and handed over to the police were seen committing similar offenses again, raising questions about their easy release from police custody.
Regarding the fugitive impersonating a Brigadier General, Owoyomi stated that the individual was arrested on February 22, 2023, at Tin Can Command Longroom Apapa, Lagos, around 5:30 pm. Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect had been masquerading as a Brigadier General, Colonel, Defense Attaché to France, and Retired Chief of Military Intelligence Personnel, depending on the situation. During the arrest, the suspect was accompanied by a Nigerian Army Band Corp NABC Coaster Bus carrying 11 personnel, two civilian vehicles with two Air Force personnel serving as escorts, and two Nigerian Army personnel drivers. The imposter was found to be in possession of a counterfeit Ministry of Defense Identity Card. The military cautioned the public against engaging with the suspect, emphasizing that he was not a military officer.
Several vehicles seized from the suspect were observed in the division’s car park.