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Breaking: Two Soldiers in Bullion Van Robbery Were War Front Deserters

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Two armed robbery suspects, Kehinde Elijah and Ezeh Frank Joseph, have admitted to the police that they formed a robbery gang in Lagos after running away from the Nigerian army.

Elijah and Joseph said they fled the army because the authorities posted them to Maiduguri, Borno State, to join other soldiers to wage war against the Boko Haram insurgents.

“We ran away from our units in Maiduguri for fear of being killed. We were in the army and posted to Maiduguri from Lagos. We didn’t know each other in Maiduguri. We met at an Indian hemp smoking joint at the Ojo Cantonment area in Lagos.

“We formed our gang when we discovered we had the same problem,” the police quoted the suspects as saying in their confessional statements at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, where they are being detained.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, told Daily Trust on phone yesterday that while Elijah was arrested at Okokomaiko bus stop, Ojo, Joseph was picked up at his house at Imude Pako, Ajangbadi, Ojo, both in the Lagos suburb.

Elkana said the two suspects had been on the police wanted list over the death of a policeman attached to Ilemba Hausa Division.

He said, “Kehinde claimed that he deserted the military in 2015 when he was deployed to the Northeast to fight insurgency. He is among three suspects on police wanted list for violent crimes. Four pairs of military fatigues were recovered from his house.

“Ezeh, on his part, claimed to have deserted the military while undergoing basic military training. Investigation led to the arrest of the two suspects. The first suspect had been to the station earlier to solicit the release of his motorcycle, which the police had impounded for violating the ban on the use of commercial motorcycles,”

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