The Nigerian Army has warned that any civilian caught in wearing military camouflage will be jailed.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, stated this in an interview with Punch.
He said the offense attracts one-month prison term, which according to him is in line with the law of the land.
Usman said: “It is an offence. I expected journalists to have done their homework very well. The Penal Code is there. And I think the punishment is even mild.
“Knowing what the law says about wearing military camouflage is part of basic civic responsibility. I also know that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”
The Army spokesman quoted Sections 110 & 111 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act; which states that, “Any person who unlawfully wears the uniform of forces, etc. L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27(1) not being a person serving in any of the armed forces of Nigeria, wears the uniform or any part of the uniform of such forces, or any of the armed dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniforms; or (2) not being a person holding any office or authority under the Government of Nigeria or of any part thereof, wears any uniform or distinctive badge or mark or carries any token calculated to convey the impression that such person holds any office or authority under the government; is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for one month, or to a fine of N10, unless he proves that he had the permission of the President or of the Governor of a State to wear such uniform or dress, badge or mark or to carry such token: Provided that this section shall not apply to the wearing of any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play or in any bona fide public entertainment.”
Meanwhile, the Army has denied allegations that its troops assaulted some women during the ongoing operations in Gokana, Khana and Tai Local Government Areas of Rivers State.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, refuted the claims while reacting to an online report which accused troops from the Division of battering women in the council areas.
Iliyasu said: “This publication is totally false, mischievous and a failed and unsubstantiated attempt by some cultists and other criminal elements in Ogoniland to cry wolf where there is actually none.
“This baseless story is a calculated and failed attempt to distract and force the withdrawal of troops from carrying out their duties which involved patrols and other operational activities.
“Our constant patrols in the areas have effectively checkmated and denied criminals freedom to carry out their nefarious activities while assisting in restoring peace and security to the troubled areas.”
Iliyasu said the Army had on March 6, after a stakeholders meeting which had in attendance paramount rulers, community leaders and other security agencies, resolved to send troops to the areas.
He said that part of the agreement reached at the meeting was to restrict movement of residents from 7pm to 6am in order to end the incessant cult clashes and killings in the areas.
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