Police in Aba, Abia state have arrested a soldier Abdulkarim Salawudeen and an 18 year old girl, Ogechi Chibuike for alleged armed robbery at the Osisioma Ngwa section of the Enugu “ Port Harcourt Expressway.
Salawudeen, who claimed to be a Lance Corporal with Army number, 98NA/ 47/3484, was alleged to have conspired with Ogechi and others still at large to rob unsuspecting members of the public at odd hours of the day.
The girl, Ogechi would stand by the road side at odds hours crying for assistance from road users particularly from 7pm to 11pm and when people stop to assist her, the soldier, Salawudeen and other members of his gang would come out from their hiding in nearby bush with their guns and rob them. Through this strategy, the gang was alleged to have robbed people of their vehicles and other property.
The Police, who have received several complaints about the operations of the gang, stormed their hideout at a drug joint near the popular Enyimba area on the Expressway and arrested the soldier and Ogechi while other members of gang are still at large. Items recovered from them include 16 Army camouflage uniforms, 3 ear rings, assorted GSM cards, Citizen bank Identity card belonging to one Ngozi Njoku as well as a Citizen bank Cheque book bearing the name of Onwumere Okechukwu.
Sources hint that Salawudeen who hails from Kogi state was a serving soldier in 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba state but deployed to an Army formation in Abia state.
Salawudeen is also said to have series of disciplinary cases which necessitated his return to his Battalion but he rather chose to abscond and form a robbery gang.The lady member of the gang, Ogechi who hails from Agburuike Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa North Local government Area of Abia state stated that the soldier instructed her dress half unclad and shout for help from road users. “He told me to stand on the roadside and call for help as anybody who sees me will stop.
When I stand on the road and shout for help, people will stop to know what happened to me and he will come out with his Army uniform and rob them.
Sometimes, he will tell me to be half unclad to attract people. He told me that with his uniform, nobody will say anything. After operations, he gives me N400. There was one we carried out at Ama Hausa, he gave me N500,” Ogechi said.