Crime

Man, 23, convicted for impersonation in Benue

By Martin Iyonguvihi

A 23-year-old painter, parading as an Airforce officer, Ezekiel Timi, was Monday convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment for the offence of forgery, intimidation and impersonation by a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court 3, presided by Ada Jack Esq.

The convict, who hails from Orafagaden Street, Gboko, in Gboko Local Government Area, Benue State was arraigned by the Benue State Police Command on May 15, 2020 for criminal conspiracy, forgery, intimidation and false personation, contrary to Section 97, 365, 398, and 181 of Penal Code Laws of Benue State 2004.

Delivering the judgment, His Worship Jack Esq. said, “the evidence before me is positive, direct. I have been convinced beyond all shadows of doubt that the elements of the offence of false personation have been proved and established against the defendant and I hereby convict him for the offence of forgery and false personation contrary to Section 181 and 365 of the Penal Code Law.

“For the allegations of criminal conspiracy, intimidation, no evidence has been led against the defendant and the allegations have not been proved, I therefore, discharge him accordingly.

“I have listened to the allocutus pleaded by the convict prosecution days he has no record of his any previous conviction, it then means the convict is a first offender, I hereby tamper justice with the soft hands of mercy in melting punishment because the law must take its course. I hereby sentence the convict for the offence of forgery. To pay a fine of N10,000 in default or be imprisoned for six months at the Federal Correction Centre, Makurdi.

“For the offence of false personation, I hereby sentence him to pay N10,000 fine or be imprisoned for 6 months at the federal correctional centre.

“The imprisonment shall run concurrently. This shall serve as deterrence,” he said.

The convict had pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on May 5, 2020.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Kuegh Abugh had told the court that “On the 28/04/2020 at about 1100hrs, the above case was transferred from Operation Zenda Headquarters, Makurdi to DZ Section SCID, Makurdi via signal No. Cj:4161/BNS/JTF/OPZ/VOL.1/307 dated 28/4/2020, stating that on 26/04/2020 at about 1200hrs, a team of Operation Zenda Crack Squad led by Sgt. Ukooli Shimave, acting on a tip off that some hoodlums invaded Five Star Hotel, Gboko and were harassing and intimidating customers.

“Consequent upon this information, the team swiftly moved to the scene where they arrested one Ezekiel Timi ‘m’ of Orafagaden Street, Gboko, who was intimidating staff and customers of the hotel, and had forged Nigeria Airforce identity card and a leave pass slip and parading himself as an Airforce Personnel serving at 445 Headquarters, Nigeria Airforce, Ikeja, Lagos State.”

He said during police investigation the said Timi voluntarily confessed committing the crime with other criminal elements terrorizing Gboko town and its environs now at large.

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