The Nigerian Army has disowned some soldiers that were arrested for allegedly involving in the bullion van robbery in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The police had announced that serving and dismissed soldiers were among seven suspects arrested for the attack on a bullion van that was on its way to Enugu State on July 29.
It would be recalled that four policemen were killed and several others sustained fatal injury in the bloody armed operation by the dreaded underworld men.
But the army, in a statement said the soldiers said to have been arrested for the robbery were not its personnel.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Enugu, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, in the statement entitled, ’Re: Police nab soldiers, others for bullion van robbery’, said the soldiers that were reportedly arrested for the crime are not serving in any of the Nigerian Army’s units, commands, formations or divisions.
The statement read, “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.”