The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday two of the suspects arrested by the police in connection with the armed robbery attack on a bullion van in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, are dismissed soldiers.
Police had said during the week that two of the armed robbery suspects are personnel of the Nigerian Army.
However, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, said in a statement titled: “Re: Police nab soldiers, others for bullion van robbery,” that the duo are no longer in the Force payroll.
According to him, the suspects are not serving in any of Nigerian Army’s units, commands, formations or divisions.
He said: “The attention of Headquarters, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, has been drawn to online publication 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 Cpl. Ayeni Samuel and Cpl. Emeka Harrison were dismissed.
“Available record shows that Dismissed 03NA/53/088 Cpl. Ayeni Samuel 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, Lagos, for United Nations mission in the year 2013. Dismissed Corporal Ayeni deserted the unit and was later arrested for pipeline vandalism at the Ikorodu area of 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 a tried and dismissed regiment from 7 Division Garrison, Maiduguri, since 2015.‘’
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