Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The police in Borno State have arrested five serving Nigerian Army personnel over alleged robbery of a car and a tricycle popularly called Keke NAPEP and other items in the state.
Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu, told newsmen in Maiduguri that two soldiers who were armed with an AK47 rifle and a locally-made pistol, robbed a tricycle rider and driver of a golf car at two locations in the state
“SARS operatives arrested a serving member of the Nigerian Army (names withheld) deployed to Monguno and another deployed to Dalori IDPs camp (names withheld), now at large. They criminally conspired and robbed a man of his Keke NAPEP (tricycle) after firing a shot. The Keke NAPEP is valued at about N600, 000,” the CP said at a press conference. The alleged offence took place in Maiduguri, the state capital on May 13.
He said the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arrested the soldier while the other fled and is at large. Another soldier was also arrested for robbery of a golf car in Bayo local government in the southern part of Borno.
“Suspects confessed to stealing the golf car valued at about N1 million,” the police chief stated.
He said three other soldiers were also apprehended for various robbery-related cases within the metropolis. He said a serving member of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was also arrested for being in possession of 66 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition with life rifle. The suspect who was reportedly arrested at a motor park, was said to have confessed he was taking the ammunition to Port-Harcourt.
Aliyu said a total of 88 suspects for various criminal cases were arrested by the police within two weeks through the Operation Puff Arder launched in the state on May 3 to combat criminal activities.
Among those paraded by the police include suspected burglars, fraudsters, drug peddlers and a five-member armed robbery gang among others. He said the suspects would be charged to court upon the completion of investigations.
He appealed to youths to shun criminal acts and urged people to be security conscious. He also advised criminals to abandon their acts and embrace the virtues of godliness. “We shall accept and assist anybody willing to abandon criminal life to live a good life,” he promised.