From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
A 44-year-old man, Lanre Oginni, was on Thursday, 24th April, 2014 sentenced to 18 month imprisonment by a Chief Magistrate Court in Osogbo, Osun State, southwest Nigeria over impersonation of the Nigeria’s Police Force.
Oginni was said to have been parading himself as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) for over a year within the state capital.
The convict who resides in Oke-Ayepe area, Osogbo was said to have commanded respect and fear from residents of the Oke-Ayepe community whom he had informed that he was a police officer.
Luck was said to have ran out of Oginni when a member of a vigilante group guiding the community accosted and requested that Oginni should produce his police identity card if truly he was a police officer, a request the fake police officer failed to grant.
The vigilante member was said to have been persistent on discovering the true identity of Oginni when he invited a police corporal friend identified as Lucky Agbeja to ascertain whether Oginni was really an Assistant Superintendent of Police in the state Police Command.
To this end, the vigilante member succeeded in exposing Oginni as Agbeja revealed that he never knew Oginni as a police officer. Consequently, Oginni was arrested and taken to Oja-Oba Police Station for proper investigation and prosecution.
Although, during interrogation, Oginni confessed that he had once worked as a security officer in one of the branches of United Bank for Africa (UBA) in Osogbo before he resigned owing to an eye infection he was battling but added that he was never enrolled in the Nigeria Police Force.
When Oginni was dragged before Chief Magistrate Olusola Aluko on Thursday, 24th April, 2014, he entered into a guilty plea to a count of impersonation.
The police prosecutor, Mr. Oladoye Joshua told the court that the offence committed by Oginni was contrary to and punishable under Section 109 of the Criminal Code Cap 34. Vol. II Law of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.
Aluko therefore pronounced Oginni guilty of impersonation. Meanwhile, counsel to the convict, Mrs Nnenna Ngwu prayed the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing the convict saying that Oginni never duped anyone during the period of the impersonation.
Aluko therefore sentenced Oginni to 18 months imprisonment or should pay the sum of N10,000 as option of fine.