The police in Lagos State have arrested a suspected fake Lieutenant Colonel, Adeboye Yelu, in the Ogba area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that 27-year-old Yelu was arrested on Tuesday by the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit.
The fake military officer was said to have been arrested while negotiating with officers of the task force over a commercial bus belonging to one Muritala, which was impounded.
According to the police, the suspect had first met Muritala and assured him that he would secure the release of the vehicle for a fee.
The duo reportedly went to the task force office in Alausa, Ikeja, where Yelu was arrested after presenting fake documents to identify himself as an army officer.
The police alleged that the suspect had also posed as an officer of the Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Police Force to secure the release of vehicles impounded in different areas of Lagos State.
In his statement to the police, Yelu allegedly said he posed as a military officer to extort money from motorists.
He said, “I was on my way to Ogba, Ikeja, when I saw the impounded vehicle. I just wanted to make money from the motorist. I did not have any other intention.
“I am among those shortlisted for the new recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force.”
A police source said Yelu usually negotiated through telephone calls for the release of impounded vehicles and if he succeeded, he would demand N15,000 from the vehicle owners.
The source said, “The recent case involved a vehicle belonging to one Muritala, who lives on Gowon Estate in the Egbeda area.
“The suspect had a habit of impersonating military officers through telephone conversations to release impounded vehicles. He would charge a fee of N15,000 or more from the owners of the vehicles.
“It was when he was being interrogated by the task force Chairman, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi, that he brought out fake documents and he was arrested.”
Muritala, the owner of the impounded vehicle, told the police that he had not met Yelu before that day.
He said, “I do not know him from anywhere. He just came to me and introduced himself as an army officer. I later discovered at the task force headquarters that he was an impersonator.”
The Head, Public Affairs Unit of the task force, Adebayo Taofiq, confirmed the arrest.
He added that the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had directed the task force chairman to charge the fake lieutenant to court.