The spate of impersonation in this society is getting alarmingly high. From students who engage mercenaries to write exams for them to public servants who used their leaders’ identity to curry favours, media-savvy persons cloning the social media accounts of famous people, and citizens using the names of government officials to carry out nefarious acts are few cases.
The Lagos State Police Command recently uncovered the case of nine men who impersonated the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) using a car branded ‘Presidential Policing Marshals’ attached to the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). This was revealed by Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu psc during the press briefing of the achievements recorded by the Command yesterday.
It is a ‘case of impersonation, Stealing and conduct likely to cause breach of peace which was initially reported at Area ’B’ Command Headquarters and was subsequently transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, for discreet investigation.’
Hiding under the guise of Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) Special Taskforce, the men viz. Chijoke Okoro; Chijoke Joseph; Gideon Ijachi; Daniel Abraham; Nsika Eket; Stanley Akparakwu; Augustine Dosu; Solomon Emeka and Benjamin Steve claimed to be part of ‘anti-corruption campaign on multiple taxation and other crimes’ and thereby hijacked two containers and diverted them at Apapa, knowing full well they lack the legal instrument to enforce such law in the country. CP OduIosu further explained that police investigation revealed that the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) debunked the claims, explaining that “they didn’t know the suspects neither had any relationship with them.”
It was learnt that on the 1st February, 2021 about 1100hrs the suspects identified as Chijoke Okoro; Chijoke Joseph; Gideon Ijachi; Daniel Abraham; Nsika Eket; Stanley Akparakwu; Augustine Dosu; Solomon Emeka and Benjamin Steve; all male were arrested for hijacking and diverting two containers loaded with goods, claiming they got an instruction to confiscate them claiming that they were from the office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Meanwhile, the two containers and one branded Toyota Hilux with Reg. No KRD 990 AP with the inscription of “PRESIDENTIAL POLICING MARSHALS, IMAN SPECIAL TASKFORCE” have been recovered from the suspects.
Speaking with Trek Africa Newspaper, Mr Steve Benjamin who claimed to be a member of Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) denied having knowledge of the genesis of “Presidential Policing Marshals” which was inscripted on their operational vehicle.
He explained that all the suspects arrested were ‘victims of circumstances’ observing that they were called out to go for an operation but were arrested in the process.
‘As a senior member of IMAN, I was invited to come and explain their modus operandi at the police station only to be arrested and detained. He added that on the 9th February, 2021, they were arraigned in court and were granted bail but unfortunately, the police refused to release them till date they were paraded.’
‘We have a signal from the office of the Inspector General of Police’s office and the Area B Commander was aware of our operation and do deploy policemen to work with us. We are duly registered body to operate. If there are other infractions, I don’t know anything about it.’
‘The IMAN management under Hon. Okoro is in a better position to explain how they came about the “Presidential Policing Marshals,” he concluded.
CP Odumosu reiterated that police investigators have contacted the owners of the two containers, adding that they have, in conjunction with other security agencies checked the content of the goods and were found not to contain any contraband goods. He added that the two containers would be handed over to the owners as soon as investigations were concluded.