For allegedly impersonating the Army and being in possession of various items belonging to the Nigeria army, about 14 students have been arrested and are at the Third Battalion Barrack, Effurun, Delta state.
The students, who claimed to be army cadets of higher institutions in Delta State, were arrested few days ago by soldiers from the third Battalion, where they were paraded in the Barracks.
Parading the impostors, the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Lt Col. Ifeanyi Out, said items found with the suspects included army logos, insignia, recruitment application forms, assorted military outfits and identity cards bearing the inscription of the Effurun Barracks.
According to Col. Out, the suspects were caught selling recruitment forms to unsuspecting members of the public, adding that their action had serious security implications, especially given the current insecurity climate in the country.
Noting that the trend, if not checked, is capable of serious security breaches, he said, “In recent times, we have witnessed an increase in the number of unregistered organizations that parade themselves as members of the Nigerian army.”
When asked whether or not army cadets were approved for universities, the Commanding Officer stated, "We have had criminals who dress in army or police uniform who indulge in criminal activities. This is a trend that needs to be checked. For now, we are not aware of any organisation approved by the army to use its uniforms.”
Our correspondent gathered that fake Army students suspected to be students of the Delta State University (DELSU), Anwai Campus in Asaba and Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, have been parading themselves as members of Nigerian Army Cadet Force. But Col Out denied ever knowing such an organisation. “It is not an approved organisation and they do not have a right to use our documents and uniforms," he said
One of the suspects, who simply gave his name as Stephen Okoh, a 500-level student at the Anwai campus of DELSU and leader of the organization, denied ever using the items found in their possession for criminal activities.
Okoh told our correspondent that the items were worn only inside the university campus.