By Abiodun OBA
Isah Tafida a resident of 4th Avenue FHA Lugbe Abuja, facing charges of impersonation, criminal breach of trust, and cheating has been sentenced to 17-month imprisonment for dishonestly presenting himself as a police officer.
A Lugbe Grade 1 Area Court presiding Judge, Aliyu Kagarko, delivered the sentence after Tafida pleaded guilty to three counts levelled against him and appealed to the court for leniency in Abuja.
Kagarko, however, provided an alternative for Tafida to pay a fine of N60,000, considering the convict’s admission of guilt, which saved the court from lengthy proceedings.
He cautioned Tafida to exhibit good behaviour and ordered him to compensate the complainant, N56,000, or face 7 months of imprisonment as an alternative to the compensation.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr. Stanley Nwaforaku, informed the court that the complainants, Mr. Celestine Mathew and Isaac Obadiah, both residents of 4th Avenue FHA Lugbe Abuja, reported the incident at the Lugbe Police Station on September 16.
Nwaforaku explained that sometime in September, the convict had falsely presented himself as a police officer, displaying an identity card bearing his name and photograph. He duped the complainants by falsely claiming that the Nigeria Police Force was conducting a recruitment drive and promised to enlist them.
Under this false pretence, the convict fraudulently collected N56,000 from the complainants for police forms, uniforms, and transportation to the Ikeja police college in Lagos but failed to fulfil his promise.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Tafida was a dismissed police officer. He had confessed to his actions during the police inquiry, and a police identity card with his name and photograph was retrieved from him.
The offenses committed by Tafida are in violation of sections 321, 322, and 179 of the Penal Code.