Two ex-military officers attached to Operation Lafiya Dole in Borno State were on Thursday arrested for alleged armed robbery.
The police command spokesman in Kano State, Magaji Majia said the suspects were nabbed based on an intelligence tip-off and joint effort of SARS operatives from Kano and Katsina were quickly mobilised to ambushed and arrested the two suspects.
“Our SARS operatives in Kano and Katsina State arrested these people wearing complete Nigerian army uniform while trying to cross to the Niger Republic. They were ambushed before crossing Nigeria/Niger border with the brand new unregistered Ford Hilux Navy Blue Colour. The suspects confirmed to us that they were fighting for survival after being dismissed for the Nigerian army,” Majia said.
Although an investigation is still ongoing, the two suspects have confirmed that they were part of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Baga before their eventual dismissal for deserting their duty post.
One of the arrested ex-military men Abubakar Ibrahim is from Kurmi Mashi Quarters of Kaduna state while his friend and accomplice, Jaduwa Thalma is from Askira Uba local government area of Borno state. They were among the 3,000 army officers dismissed in 2016 have been overpowered by Boko Haram insurgents in Baga area of Borno state.
One of the suspects who drove the vehicle denied being an armed robber. He said he has no choice after he was dismissed from the Nigerian Army.
“We are not armed robbers, we were only asked to deliver this vehicle to one Alhaji in Katsina State at the cost of N150, 000 and since I don’t have a job anymore, I will do whatever job comes my way to survive as long as it is not armed robbery,” he said.
The second suspect said they tactically retreat from Baga because Boko Haram fighters have overpowered them, and they do not have the required military equipment to defend themselves.
The ex-military officers claimed that they have not committed any atrocities contrary to the rules and regulations of the Nigerian army but they were simply outnumbered and by Boko Haram fighters and forced to retreat which led to their court marshal and eventual dismissal from service.