…Parades fake ID card from Rotimi Williams Chambers
By Evelyn Usman
Like the proverbialÂ dog that will always return to its vomit, Alexandra Pedro, who is currently in police custody, has proved those who vouched for his turning a new leaf after being granted bail few years ago wrong.
In year 2002, Pedro was arrested for smuggling but released on bail. Shortly after, he was again arrested for a similar offence. But this time around, he was dressed in army camouflage, parading himself as a Major in the Nigerian Army.
He was then charged to court but was discharged owing to failure on the part of theÂ prosecuting counsel to appear in court, after several aborted sittings. Then came the recent arrest where he was alleged to be impersonating as a lawyer.
The pointer to the misdemeanour of 40yearsold Alex, as he is popularly known, could be traced to his undergraduate days at the Lagos State University ,where he was rusticated following his arrest for smuggling.Â Determined to make ends meet, Alex who claimed to be the son of a serving Brigadier- General in the Nigerian Army, toed an illegal path to achieve his goal. But unfortunately, things never went the way he had envisaged, as he currently regrets his action.
I Did It To Fend For Myself
Hear him, â€œ I am into what I am doing today because I am from a broken home. You may not understandâ€, he stated, shaking his head in self pity. Continuing, he said, â€œ I only did it to enable me to feed myself.Â I am not a lawyer and have never been one. I taught myself the profession by going to court to listen to proceedings . During one of the visits, a thought struck me and I got all necessary books and began to study and with time, I got used to some of the legal terminologies.
I have never gone to court to hold brief. What I was into was securing the release of motorcycles that were impounded either by the police or officials of the Lagos State Task Force Unit. Each motorcycle I release, they pay N2,000 .Â I was also into writing of agreement for landlords and also processing military gate passes for some individuals. I got nothing less than N20,000 for that. I did not make much because business never came evertime.
Asked why he went back to such criminal act after he promised to turn a new leaf during his first arrest, he replied, â€œ My tale of woe stated when I was studying Sociology at the Lagos State University.Â Then, I was bringing cars from Cotonou .
But on one of the trips, I was arrested for parading as a Major in the Army . I was arrested by one soldier who knew I was not a genuine military man. I used to give that particular soldier money anytime I was coming back from any trip to Cotonou.
But on that fateful day, because he claimed I did not give him the required amount, he arrested me.
Then I was paraded before journalists in this same office. I was thereafter charged to court where I was discharged and acquittedÂ because the Army did not appear in courtÂ toÂ give evidence.
As if that was not enough, after my arrest, I was rusticated . The arrest came as a deadly blow to my father because my face was shown on the television.Â I guess it also affected him because shortly after that, he wasÂ promoted to the rank of a Brigadier- General and something happened that I would not want to be mentioned. After I was rusticated, my father stopped fending for me and I had to look for what to do to keep body and soul going.â€
Asked how he got the military uniform he was arrested in, he disclosed that he got them from his friends who were military personnel. â€œ I have lived in Akwa_Ibom barracks. Then it was called 6 Brigade. So, I had lots of friends who were military personnel and collected a pair of uniform from each of them. But they never knew what I intended using them for,â€ said the father of two who disclosed that his wife abandoned him with the two children after he was arrested.
Alexandra, as gathered, was walking along Ebute _Metta recently, when a man held him, calling out for help. At first, no one could approach the duo , as many thought it could be a ploy to swindle them . However, when the argument became intense, some inquisitive passers-by volunteered to find out what the matter was, only to be told Alexandra collected N59,000 from about six commercial motorcyclists but never effected the release of any of the motorcycles.
Effort by the aggrieved motorcyclist, as he was later identified, alongside his colleagues to retrieve their money met brick wall as Alex had vacated his Ebutte-Metta home since three years ago.. Thus, entreaties by sympathizers for the aggrieved motorcyclist to loosen his grip on Alex fell on deafÂ ears as he insisted he might never set his eyes on him again.
Alex was subsequently arrested . When searched, he was said to have been found with some documents related toÂ Law profession.Â Â Other discoveries about him,Â according to the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba,Â wasÂ that he had been parading himself as a major in the Nigerian Army, a barrister and solicitor.
During diligent search, various documents were found on him which included affidavit, letters, correspondences, all portrayingÂ him to be a legal person.
One of the startling discoveries included an identity card purportedly issued by Rotimi Williamâ€™s Chambers which the suspect always went about with.
â€œWe have carried out investigation and can confirm that the only close link he had with the military was that he grew up in the barracks. We also did a letter to ChiefÂ Rotimi Williams chambers which also proved he is not in any way attached to the Chambersâ€, Mba stated.
A copy of the reply to Police enquiry from the chambers reads:Â â€œPlease know that the above name is neither a lawyer or a staff employed by us nor is he a staff in our law firm . He is unknown to us and was never issued with the firmâ€™s Identity cardâ€. The reply, Mba said, was a total disclaimer andÂ total denial
â€œI regret everything because there is no gain in crime . IÂ will not go back to crime again if I have something doing with either my primary or secondary school certificate.
IfÂ had known, I would have remained with my mother after I relocated to Ajangbandi where she stays .
At least, I would not have been arrested.Â While there, my mother helped me secure a teaching job in a nursery school.
But not long after I started, the school was shut by some inspectors on the ground that it was not registered.Â Â I swear , this time around, I will turn a new leaf if I am let off the hookâ€, he swore.