The Nigerian Police has arrested a 9-man syndicate who pose as Presidential Policing Marshal Task Force and impersonating on behalf of National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno to hijack alreading cleared containers exiting the ports in Lagos.
The arrested syndicate led by one Chijioke Okoro, a strong member of Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) were alleged to have hijacked and diverted two containers loaded with goods, in one of the warehouses in Lagos.
While parading the men in Lagos recently, the Lagos state police command said their mode of operations included tracking goods from the Apapa ports to warehouses, with an impression to inspect them, under the cover of the presidential task force.
The command noted that luck ran against them when policemen at the Area ‘B’ Command, Apapa, accosted them with the two containers they allegedly hijacked and diverted.
Upon interrogation, they claimed they got an instruction from the office of the NSA to carry out the action.
However, the Lagos state commissioner of police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, disclosed that they were discovered not to have any connection with the office of the NSA, during interrogation.
Parading them before journalists, Odumosu, said:
“The office of the National Security Adviser has debunked the claims, stressing that it didn’t know the suspects, neither had it any relationship with them.
“Two containers and one branded Toyota Hilux with registration number KRD 990 AP, with the inscription “PRESIDENTIAL POLICING MARSHAL, IMAN SPECIAL TASKFORCE’’ was recovered from the suspects.
“They were identified as Chijoke Okoro, Chijoke Joseph, Gideon Ijachi, Daniel Abraham, Nsika Eket, Stanley Akparakwu, Augustine Dosu, Solomon Emeka and Benjamin Steve.”
The ring leader, Chijioke Okoro claimed that he was a member of the Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) and a member of the Policing Nigeria Awareness Initiative (PNAI)
The Policing Nigeria Awareness Initiative (PNAI) has however said Chijioke Okoro is not a member of the group and was not assigned to carry out any operation on behalf of the PNAI.
The founder and chairman governing council of PNAI, Ambassador Egbe Akparakwu Adun disclosed this in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday.
He said the major tasks of his group are national security awareness programmes and the anti-corruption campaign against multiple taxations, revenue non-remittance, oil and gas theft monitoring.
“PNAI did not at any time appoint or authorise Chijioke Okoro to collect money from importers in Lagos or any other place at all.”
The leadership of the Importers Association of Nigeria, IMAN, also distanced itself from Chijoke Okoro.
The national coordinator of the association, Chief Obi Michael Ekwego reportedly stated that Okoro was not acting on behalf of the association.