Sahara Reporters

Two men, who allegedly impersonated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) staffers and stole N800,000, were on Tuesday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.

The accused — unemployed Ibrahim Sodiq, 27, a resident of Iyana-Ipaja and Chijioke Ugwu, 27, a teacher, who resides at Ijegun area of Lagos, were arraigned before the Magistrate, Mrs F.F. George.

The duo is facing a four-count charge of conspiracy, impersonation, obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.

Both denied the charges.

The magistrate granted the accused a bail of N500, 000 each with two sureties each, adding that the sureties should be gainfully employed with an evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

According to the Prosecutor, Sgt. Godwin Awase, the accused committed the offences sometime in August at Akowonjo, a Lagos suburb.

He said the accused and three others yet to be apprehended, conspired to obtain N800, 000 from Mr Afolabi Sowede, on the pretext of committing felony.

“The accused went to the complainant’s office, claiming that they were from EFCC in Ikoyi, accusing him of committing a crime.

“The accused, armed with dangerous weapons, packed all the complainant’s employees in a room, collected their phones to prevent them from making calls.

“They asked the complainant how much he had in his account and he told them he had N1 million and they checked his account balance to confirm.

“The complainant was forced to transfer N800, 000 to some bank accounts as they threatened to harm him if he refused to comply and he obeyed,” he told the court.

Awase said after the accused had left, the complainant reported the case to the police and two of the accused were arrested.

“The long arm of the law caught up with one of the owners of the accounts which was used to perpetrate the crime and he led to the arrest of the accused.”

The offences contravened Section 287, 380(1), 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 380 provides three years jail term for impersonation while Section 314 stipulates 15 years for obtaining money under false pretences.

The case was adjourned until Nov. 14.

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