3 docked for impersonating UN officials

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Abuja – The Police on Friday arraigned three suspects at a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja for falsely presenting themselves as UN officials.

The police prosecutor, ASP Falode Olutope, told the court that the accused persons were reported at the Force Criminal Investigative Department by members of the public on Dec. 22.

He gave the names of the accused persons as Lemmy Odogwu, Abraham Michael and Innocent Prosper.

According to the prosecutor, the accused conspired among themselves and sold recruitment forms with UN logo for N5,000 each to unsuspecting members of public.

Olutope said that their intention was to defraud members of the public when they were fully aware that they were not UN staff members.

The prosecutor also told the court that the accused persons were members of a syndicate with network in Lagos, Cross Rivers, Imo, Ekiti and Abuja.

He said the proceeds they made from the recruitment scam amounted to N3.5 million.

According to the prosecutor, they committed the offences of joint act, felony, impersonation, theft, cheating by impersonation and breach of trust contrary to sections 79, 179, 286, 321 and 311 of the Penal Code.

The accused persons however denied the allegations.

Mr Obam Ochoja, the counsel to the first and third accused persons, applied for his clients’ bail.

He argued that they were still innocent until proven guilty by the court, citing sections 35(1) and 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution.

He also prayed the court to consider Section 341(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to grant the accused bail.

The counsel to the second accused, Mr Gabriel Egbule and Boniface Udeh, also applied for bail for their client.

However, the prosecutor, who urged the court to deny the bail applications, explained that granting them bail would jeopardise ongoing investigation.

Senior Magistrate Anthony Ogboi granted them bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties each who must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction.

Ogboi said the sureties must also have properties in the Federal Capital Territory and must submit their passport photographs along with those of the accused with the court registry.

He adjourned the case to Feb. 3 for commencement of hearing. (NAN)

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