The Nigerian Army says that purported soldiers arrested for the bullion van robbery in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State are not its personnel.
Col. Aliyu Yusuf, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations in 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Enugu.
Yusuf, who in the statement titled: “Re: Police Nab Soldiers, Others For Bullion Van Robbery’’, noted that the two alleged soldiers are not serving in any of the Nigerian Army’s units, commands, formations or divisions.
“The attention of Headquarters 82 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to on-line 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 Corporal Ayeni Samuel and Corporal Emeka Harrison were dismissed.
“Available record shows that Dismissed 03NA/53/088 Corporal 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 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,” Yusuf said.