Image of military impersonators not officers sponsoring kidnappings as claimed | Dailytrust

Image of military impersonators not officers sponsoring kidnappings as claimed

Image of military impersonators not officers sponsoring kidnappings as claimed
Image of military impersonators not officers sponsoring kidnappings as claimed

Claim: A Facebook page, Nigerian CiVil Right MoVement, claimed that a picture of some suspects paraded by the Army was that of military officers arrested for sponsoring kidnappers in Kaduna. 

Verdict: the claim is false. Investigations show that the picture was that of military impostors arrested by the Nigerian Army in Lagos and Ogun who use military accoutrement to commit crimes. 

Full text

A post on the Facebook Page of Nigerian Civil Right Movement claimed after a military operation arrest kidnappers in Kaduna, they confessed to be sponsored by military officers and the officers were paraded by the army. The post, which has garnered 220 comments and 242 shares with 595 likes, said “These kidnappers who kidnapped the entire family in Kaduna and demanded N60 million were nabbed by a joint team of air force and military. Those nabbed confessed to be sponsored by some military officers who are in the pictures shown. This was on Thursday morning in Kaduna. Kidnapping wouldn’t strive as a business if security agents are not allies,” it concluded.

Believing the post, a commenter, Cyprian Adega, allegedly claim “Thank God almighty for their arrest and confessions. So many kidnappers, bandits and Boko Haram members are in our security agencies. It’s very bad and unfortunate.” 

Brief on intercepted N60m ransom operation

On April 12, PRNigeria published a story that the Nigerian military intercepted a ‘huge’ amount of ransom for the freedom of some captives in the custody of armed bandits in Kaduna State.

It stated that the military thereafter took an operation by a combination of ground troops of the Nigerian Army and as special forces of the Nigerian Air forces, NAF, which resulted in the elimination of some terrorists and rescue of their victims.

Though it is not clear whether the kidnappers killed were the same who demanded for the money but the report stated that the courier of the ransom were security agents without stating which of the arm of the security agency they belong to.

It quoted an unnamed source that the case of the arrested couriers would be referred to the Department of State Service (DSS) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for further investigation.

It said other items seized include petroleum products and sophisticated weapons, vehicles, AK-47 rifles, magazines, various kinds of ammunition and mobile phones. 

Verification

A Google reverse image indicated that the images of the suspects donning military attires were not in any way connected to kidnapping in Kaduna or other parts of the country.

The search brought up new stories of news items on the Military Police personnel in 81 Division of the Nigerian Army parading imposters who it said used its uniform and other paraphernalia for crimes that have painted the army in bad light. 

The report stated that the impostors were 12 in number and arrested during an operation code named ‘Operation Checkmate’ within Lagos and Ogun states.

The General Officer Commanding of the division, Major General Umar Thama Musa, was quoted to have dispelled, “unfounded narrative that all acts committed by persons dressed in military uniform are always military personnel.”

He further noted that people displaying military banners and accoutrement such as belts and stickers on vehicles and driving commercial vehicles in military uniform as well as driving civilian vehicles painted in Army colour are most often not personnel of the Army.

Also, there was a Google search on the N60m interception churned out on various news sites without pictures of the security agents that were arrested.

In the same vein, claim by the post that the kidnappers were arrested false as media reports only mentioned the arrest of the couriers but not the kidnappers.

Conclusion

The claim that military personnel in the image were enablers of kidnapping in the Kaduna was false as it was imposters parades by the Nigerian army.

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