By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
An alleged impostor of the Nigerian Army, one Kingsley Ighalo, 37, had been arraigned on a five-count charge before Magistrate Yetunde Pinhero at the Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Magistrate Court, Alausa, Ikeja for assaulting Ayinla Adeola and Adeshina Akinwunmi, officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, at Bolade area of the state while on duty.
According to reports, Ighalo, who was driving a commercial vanagon bus with registration number XV 793 SMK, allegedly obstructed the free flow of traffic by picking and dropping passengers at will on the main carriage of Abeokuta Expressway and was later intercepted by the two officers at Bolade area of Oshodi. As at the time of arrest, the suspect was said to be wearing an army camouflage shirt.
The driver was asked to drive his bus to the LASTMA Headquarters, Oshodi with officials escorting him. However, in order to evade arrest, the offender drove recklessly and dangerously towards the direction of the Nigerian Army Arena Shopping Complex gate and introduced himself as an officer of the Nigerian Army and thereby requested for help.
The Edo born driver acting in collaboration with the military officers attached to the gate of the shopping complex and in the process assaulted and inflicted serious head injuries on the LASTMA officers who were later released through the intervention of senior ranks of the military who also detected and confirmed that the driver was an impostor when he could not answer some questions related to military code of conduct and thereby handed him over to the LASTMA police for further investigation.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the presiding Magistrate, granted him bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties and also directed that the sureties must show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State government, must not be below 40years of age, resident of the state and must be gainfully employed with proof of valid identity card. The case has been adjourned till 14 December, 2012 for proper trial.