Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The Nigerian Army on Wednesday disclosed that the two soldiers who were among seven suspects arrested in connection with a deadly bullion van robbery in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on July 29 are not its personnel.
In a statement issued to reporters in Enugu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Col Aliyu Yusuf, said the suspects were already dismissed and are not serving in any of its units, commands, formations or divisions.
He stated: ‘The attention of the headquarters, 82 Division, Nigerian Army has been drawn to online publications on the unfortunate Bullion Van Robbery incident at Abakaliki, Ebonyi State on July 29 which led to the arrest of two suspected dismissed soldiers and other gangsters involved in the act.
‘It is necessary to inform the public that the so called soldiers in the report are not personnel of the Nigerian Army since 2015 and 2018; when both Corporal Ayeni Samuel and Corporal Emeka Harrison were dismissed.
‘Available record shows that Corporal Ayeni Samuel, 03NA/53/088 was dismissed in 2018 for desertion and pipeline vandalism at 174 Battalion.
‘The dismissed soldier was attached to 174 Battalion from Command Day Secondary School, Ikeja for United Nations mission in the year 2013. Dismissed Corporal Ayeni deserted the unit and was later arrested for pipeline vandalism at Ikorodu in Lagos State in 2018.
‘In line with Nigerian Army extant rules and regulations, Ayeni was officially tried and awarded dismissed regiment as a Corporal and not Sergeant; as claimed in the online story.
‘Also, dismissed Corporal Emeka Harrison was tried and dismissed regiment from 7 Division Garrison, Maiduguri since 2015.’