At least two serving personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been arrested for alleged armed robbery and kidnapping in the Federal Captital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The recent involvement of personnel in violent crimes has become a source of worry to authorities of the Nigerian military in recent times.
News dissemination platform, PRNigeria, reported that the military hierarchy was contemplating a drastic action to deter officers and men, whose ‘unprofessional’ conducts were smearing the image of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
This followed a report that a soldier was caught in an alleged robbery operation at Post-Service Housing Development Limited (PHDL) phase one Estate in Kurudu, a suburb of Abuja this week.
Last Sunday, an Airman too was also apprehended by some soldiers at PHDL Phase 5 Estate, Kurudu, while assisting two civilians to kidnap a resident of the estate.
Also operatives of the Vigilantes Group of Nigeria on September 20, 2022 arrested a serving soldier, Nafiu Isah, and recovered one AK47 and 30 rounds of live ammunitions from him.
PRNigeria quoted a military source as saying that after the armed robbers attempted to infiltrate into PHDL phase one estate, Kurudu, through the nearby NAOWA College, troops of Army Headquarters Garrison (AHQ Gar) deployed for guard duty in the school premises challenged the armed robbers upon sighting their movement in the dark.
The source said: “…but the robbers opened fire on the guards who also returned fire, hitting one of the armed robbers on the shoulder while the other fled and escaped.
“Own soldiers on guard at the PHDL phase one estate swiftly dashed under cover of darkness to the school to beef up the guards upon hearing gunshots. The armed robber who was hit had one X AK47 rifle, 26 rounds of 7.62mm (special), a knife, a black mask, and a mobile phone.
“However, close observation of the robber confirmed that he is a soldier of the AHQ Gar Admin Bn currently on guard duty at a retired military General’s residence at Saidu Isa close, Katampe extension, Abuja.”
On the airman’s involved in a foiled kidnapping operation, the source said, “the NAF personnel was apprehended by AHQ Gar soldiers on guard duty at PHDL Phase 5 estate, Kurudu in AMAC while assisting two civilians to kidnap a resident of house on Gen AB Dambazau Street in the estate.
“Preliminary investigation confirmed that the Airman and his civilian accomplices stormed the victim’s house dressed in black suits, claiming they were DSS personnel.
“The Airman-led abductors immediately seized the mobile phones belonging to the victim and his wife including a laptop and ordered the victim into a waiting Ash-coloured Toyota tc saloon vehicle with Registration Number (ABUJA) ABJ 755 LD.
“Following a tip-off by the victim’s wife who raised alarm as the abductors were zooming off, own soldiers on duty swiftly engaged the abductors in a pursuit using motorcycles and eventually apprehended the Airman and the vehicle with the assistance of passerby while his civilian accomplices fled and escaped.
“The victim was rescued unharmed while the Airman is currently in custody of AHQ Gar Prov Gp for further action.”
When contacted, the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, said he was yet to get briefs on the incidents but promised to get back to this reporter.
He was, however, yet to provide the update as at the time of filing this report.