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Fake preachers arrested for impersonating military officers

The men indentified as, Raymond Bakeh, Sunday Ofordu, and Robison Igbarumah, Macrran Ransome, Al -Hassan Emmanuel were arrested by officers from the Arakah Military Barracks,…

The men indentified as, Raymond Bakeh, Sunday Ofordu, and Robison Igbarumah, Macrran Ransome, Al -Hassan Emmanuel were arrested by officers from the Arakah Military Barracks, Apapa on March 1.

Three of the suspects bore the rank of lieutenant colonel, one a major-general and another a captain.

Police image maker, Frank Mba, said investigations revealed that the suspects were civilians who used a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to extort money from innocent citizens.

“These men were arrested for impersonation and unlawful possession of military kits. They were arrested by the military police, Nigerian army, at Arakah barracks operating an illegal organisation called Go Army. They claimed to be army officers, wearing army kits and their emblems look like that of the Nigerian army with fake identity cards,” Mr Mba said.

However, the suspects in their confessional statement to journalists, said they joined the military chaplaincy through a non- profit organisation called GO ARMY, a humanitarian organisation which empowers local pastors to enhance their ministry and serve humanity.

The suspects alleged that one Mr Ransome was the brain behind the NGO. They claimed that they their love to preach the gospel made them to pay through their noses in order to join.

Mr Ransome who was also referred to as the commander-general and the chaplain lieutenant colonel, however said he started the NGO with a good intention which was to propagate the gospel.

“I am the one who introduced the pastors to the NGO. This started in April, 2009. I was using the auditorium of my church, called Apostolic Christian Chapel at Itire as training centre for the pastors.

The NGO is meant to enhance the pastors’ ministries so that they can serve humanity. We have close to 50 members and each person paid at least N2, 500 for the form. We collect membership fees which can be up to N70,000.

The NGO is not a fake. I have forwarded the name of the NGO to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration but it has not been registered yet. I got the materials and kits from the market. I did not know that what I was doing is a crime.”

The illegal NGO was exposed when members suspected foul play and decided to approach the said Directorate for clarifications.

“I paid N2,500 to obtain my form with the NGO. I also paid another N72,000 to become a member. I do not know that this is a fake organisation,” said Mr Sunday.

Mr Mba said, “It is only those in the military that can join the military chaplaincy. It is unlawful to be in possession of military items. They have in their possession identity cards bearing ranks similar to the military, colonel and captain and major, this act is unlawful. They will be charged to court.”

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