Oluwatobi Akindele

A 22-year-old man, Godswill Francis, has been remanded in prison custody by an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly impersonating a naval officer.

The suspect was reportedly arrested by police officers attached to the surveillance patrol of the Elere Police Station in the Agege area of Lagos State.

Francis, whose residential address was given as No. 3 Orisa Imude Street, Shibiri, Ojo, Lagos, was reportedly seen around the POWA shops, Elere Division, putting on an army camouflage T-shirt and a fez cap.

When apprehended, the accused reportedly showed a merchant navy identification card.

After further interrogation, he was found to be an impostor.

The Delta State indigene, who said he was a drummer in his father’s church, claimed that he had once attended the merchant navy training for a period of four months and was issued a navy ID card, adding that he bought the cap and T-shirt at the Ojo Cantonment.

He said, “I was a security agent at the Ajao Estate from 2013 to 2014, after which I started playing drums for my dad at the Mighty Power of God Ministry. I went for the merchant navy training while I was a security agent. I did the training at the Etegbi Merchant Navy School, Shibiri, Ojo, Lagos. I spent four months in training. After the completion of my training, I was given a merchant navy ID card, black combat uniform and a white belt. I lost the ID card given to me and I decided to replace it.

“I bought the navy uniform that I wore when I was arrested at the Ojo Cantonment; I bought the cap at the rate of N300 and the navy uniform at the rate of N500.”

Francis was arraigned on two counts bordering on impersonation

The police prosecutor, Kenrich Namayo, told the court that the offences were contrary to sections 78(b) and 365(i) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.

The charges read, “That you, Godswill Francis, on January 16, 2019, around 6pm at Oshobu Street by the Elere Police Station, Agege, Lagos, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did put on an army cap and T-shirt, patrolling the street and claiming to be a naval officer, knowing same to be false.

“That you, Godswill Francis, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did forge a navy ID card, claiming to be a naval personnel, knowing that you are not.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to count one and not guilty to count two.

The presiding magistrate, Mrs T. A. Ojo, ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case till February 13, 2019.

Copyright PUNCH.  

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