An Army officer, Lance Corporal Mohammed, and an Airman, Corporal Olathe, have been reportedly arrested in Abuja over alleged armed robbery and kidnapping.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, the Nigerian Air Force spokesperson, Air Commodore Wapkerem Maigida, said, “Investigation is ongoing concerning the incident, and he (Olathe) will be punished according to Armed Forces rules if found guilty.”
However, the Nigerian Army could not be reached for comment, as its spokesperson, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, did not respond to phone calls and text messages from our correspondent on Sunday.
Our correspondent gathered that Mohammed was captured by troops of the Army Headquarters Garrison deployed for guard duty at the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association College, Kurudu.
Olathe was reportedly apprehended by Army Headquarters Garrison soldiers on guard duty at the Nigerian Army Post Housing Development Limited, Phase 5 Estate, Kurudu, for allegedly assisting two civilians to kidnap one Emmanuel Sunday, a resident of the estate.
An impeccable source, said, “The incident involving the army officer occurred on Wednesday, January 18, when some armed robbers attempted to infiltrate PHDL Phase 1 Estate, Kurudu, through the nearby NAOWA College.
“Troops of AHQ Gar deployed for guard duty on the school premises challenged the armed robbers upon sighting their movement in the dark 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.
“The AHQ Garrison soldiers on guard duty swiftly dashed under the cover of darkness to the school to beef up the guards upon hearing gunshots. The armed robber who was hit had one AK-47 rifle, 26 rounds of 7.62mm (special), a knife, a black mask, and a mobile phone.
“However, preliminary inquiry from the culprit, who was still conscious, revealed that they were two in number. He also revealed that his accomplice, who escaped, is also a serving soldier.”
For the Air Force officer, the source said, “On Sunday, January 15, Olathe was arrested by AHQ Gar soldiers on guard duty at PHDL Phase 5 Estate, Kurudu, while in connivance with two civilians to kidnap one Emmanuel Sunday, a resident of the estate.
“Preliminary investigation confirmed that the airman and his civilian accomplices stormed the victim’s house dressed in black suits, claiming to be 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 saloon vehicle.
“Following a tip-off by the victim’s wife, who raised the alarm as the abductors were zooming off, troops of the AHQ Garrison on duty swiftly engaged the abductors in a pursuit using motorcycles and eventually apprehended the Airman and the vehicle with the assistance of a passerby, while his civilian accomplices fled and escaped. The victim was rescued unharmed while the airman is currently in the custody of AHQ Gar Provost Group for further action.”