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Why I became Okada snatcher – Fake soldier

A 33-year-old fake soldier, Elias Marcus, arrested while attempting to steal a motorcycle, has confessed that his desire to join the Nigerian Army (NA) made…

A 33-year-old fake soldier, Elias Marcus, arrested while attempting to steal a motorcycle, has confessed that his desire to join the Nigerian Army (NA) made him impersonate and delve into bike snatching.

Marcus, who was arrested on Saturday by operatives of the Lagos State Task Force, said he was denied enlistment because he had no godfather.

He said, “I’ve always wanted to be a force man, but when I could not become one I decided to impersonate. It gives me clearance and commands respect for me in some instances, that’s why I delved into the business of stealing under false pretense. My wife does not know I am into such a business.”

The Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, Shola Jejeloye, who confirmed the arrest, described the suspect as a serial impostor and who specialised in snatching commercial motorcycles.

Jejeloye disclosed that the suspect admitted impersonating officials of the agency with his camouflage trousers and wallet in order to dispossess Okada riders of their bikes and valuables in different parts of the state.

The task force chairman said Marcus, a father of one, was arrested at mid-day while he was trying to carry out his usual act of impersonating an official and stealing a bike.

He said one of Marcus’ victims, Yahaya Usman (19), told interrogators that the suspect flagged him down in Mafoluku area of Oshodi.

He said, “According to the victim, the suspect requested that he should be taken to the inner parts of Oshodi. On getting to the destination, the suspect asked the rider to divert to a different location where he pushed him off the bike and sped off with it.

“Before the victim knew what was happening he found himself on the ground after he had been pushed by the suspect. The victim said he chased him till he caught up with him and struggled with him till officers of the task force came to his rescue and arrested him.”

He further said, “We have made series of arrests in months because the reports of fake task force personnel we receive is worrisome. We will carry on with this mop up exercise till every single fake official is arrested and taken to court. This will serve as a deterrent to others who might be nursing the idea of impersonation.

“The suspect has been charged to court accordingly, he pleaded not guilty and the case has been adjourned to May 26, 2022, while remains in remand.