A 28-year-old dismissed lance corporal, Emmanuel Anthony, arrested for armed robbery has confessed to the crime.
He was arrested and taken to the Zone 2 Command, Lagos, at the weekend where he confessed that his gang buys military ranks and uniforms which they use in their operations.
The suspect, who was attached to 26 Task Force Brigade, 12 Battalion in Maiduguri, said his gang preferred using military ranks during operation because it made for easy get away. He added that it was easy to get any army rank in the open market at Ojo Cantonment Barracks.
It was learnt that the suspect was posted to the North East in 2016 but deserted and ran to Lagos with his friend identified as Agu and took to robbery. “After arriving in Lagos, I went to Ojo cantonment to buy a lieutenant rank. Later my friend and I drive round the streets of Lagos to look for a car to snatch,” Anthony said.
The Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Zone 2 Command, CSP Dolapo Badmus, said the suspect and his friend Agu would drive around the state and hit a car from behind and an argument would ensued between the driver and the suspects.
She said Agu would come out of his car and beg the car owner. If such driver refused to accept their apology, Agu would enter into the car and drive away supposedly with the intention of fixing the damage but will instead sell it. Badmus said Anthony and Agu, who is at large, committed the act sometime in the month of February 2018, along Lagos-Ibadan Express road while in army uniform.
“Anthony was rearrested on May 13 by police operatives when the victim he robbed saw him on social media and wrote a petition to the AIG Zone 2, Adamu Ibrahim,” the PPRO said.
She added that efforts are on to arrest Agu, adding that AIG Adamu Ibrahim has directed that the suspect be charged to court at the completion of investigation.The suspect said they only applied excessive force on their victim.
He said: “It was Agu that brought the idea. Initially when we came back from Maiduguri we were into escorting of goods. But when the money we were making was not enough that was when my friend advised me that we should engage in such method of stealing cars.“Whenever we hit our target car, I would be in the car sitting as a senior officer.
“It is Agu that would talk to the owner of the car. If the person refused, Agu will entered into his car pretending that he was taking it to a mechanic workshop and push the owner out of the car,” the suspect said.
He said they usually operated around 6:30pm and that Agu took the cars somewhere at Ayobo where they kept them, adding that it was Agu that sold the Lexus jeep they stole from the complainant for N1.6 million.
The suspect added that he had served in the army for 10 years before he was dismissed in March 2018 for deserting service in 2016.