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Alleged fake army personnel harass, extort from Aja Market traders

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Lagos, March. 12, 2019 A Tinubu Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Tuesday granted N500,000 bail to each of two men charged with impersonating army personnel to harass and extort money from Aja Market traders.

Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias also ordered that Cornelius Edet, 37, and Moseri Udoka, 23, should provide  two sureties as part of their bail conditions.

Elias directed  that one of the sureties should be a relative of the defendants and the other,  a community leader.

Edet and Udoka  appeared before the court on a three-count charge of conspiracy, impersonation and unlawful possession of the Nigerian Army uniform.

They, however,  pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Hafsat Ajibode, told the court that the defendants committed the offences on March 4 at 3:00p.m. at Ajah Market, Lagos State.

Ajibode said that the defendants conspired and  paraded themselves as personnel of  the Nigerian Army by wearing their uniform.

She said   that the duo  wore the camouflage uniform of the army and  harassed and extorted money from traders in the market.

Ajibode submitted that the defendants were sighted by some army personnel in a patrol vehicle, who approached them and requested for their  identity cards.

“Edet and Udoka who had no means of identification were discovered to be fake, and they were apprehended,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the offences contravene Sections 77 (a) 327 (d) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

 Section 77 provides for three years’ imprisonment for impersonation, while Section  327 stipulates a seven-year jail term  for unlawfully possessing army uniform.

Section 411 prescribes two years’ imprisonment for conspiracy.

The case was  adjourned until April 11 for mention.

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