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76-year-old man docked for impersonating Anambra community monarch

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By Praise Necherem

76-year-old Benedict Ifeatu has been arraigned over alleged forged documents to impersonate as the traditional ruler of Isiagu community in Awka South local government area of Anambra state.

Also docked was a 72-year-old evangelist, Eleazar Ekemezie over alleged illegal collection of fees from unsuspecting members of the community to settle electricity bills.

The police through the prosecutor, J.O Obochi, told the presiding Chief Magistrate, His Worship, Mike Anyadiegwu, that the Police Act empowered the police to investigate and prosecute such offenders who engaged in unlawful acts of forgery and impersonation.

The Charge Sheet No. MAW/99C/2021 titled Commissioner of Police versus Chief Benedict Ifeatu, male, 76 years and Evangelist Eleazar Ekemezie, male, 72 years, issued and signed by the O/C Legal of the State Police Command, A.A. Nwano a copy of which was read out to the parties.

The prosecutor, in the first count charge, accused the first defendant (Ifeatu) of Enuko village, Isiagu community of alleged forgery of a letter-headed paper of Awka South Local Government Council dated October 30, 2012, titled: “Submission of Letter of Presentation of Igwe-elect” purportedly signed by one Hon E. E. Okoye, without lawful authority and excuse.

In the suit, Ifeatu versus Louis Okeke and two others, the 1st defendant claimed to have been elected and returned as Igwe-elect of Isiagu sometimes in the year 2020.

But the prosecutor, CSP A.A. Nwano, faulted him, accusing the 1st defendant of forging documents and impersonating, “knowing it to be false and with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of HRM Igwe Augustine Nwankwo who actually won the election and duly returned elected, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 449(a) of the Criminal Code Cap 36, Vol II Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991.

He submitted that the Transition Committee Chairman of Awka South Local Government Leo Nwuba in a reply to letter of ascertainment from Deputy Commissioner of Police reference,” CR: 3000/ANS/X/D18/Vol. 46/184 of 18th December 2020, captioned ‘Investigating Activities to confirm the letter from Ifeatu on Submission of Letter of Presentation of Igwe-elect, clarifying that the said letter “remains alien to our records as it is nowhere to be found.”

In the second count charge against the second defendant, from same Enugo village, Isiagu, the prosecutor accused him of having sometimes in the year 2010, at Awka, “without lawful authority or excuse, forged a letter headed paper of Isiagu Community Union dated January 3, 2010, captioned: “Letter of Attestation” purportedly signed by one Eric Nweke.

In a Suit No. A/6/2020, Evangelist Eleazar Ekemezie and Amor versus Chief Gentleman Akuabia and two others, the Second Defendant purported that the said Letter of Attestation was genuinely made by the governing body of Isiagu Community Union authorising him to represent Isiagu community in collecting PHCN bills for the community and ensuring it’s payment by the community.

According to the prosecutor, the second defendant made the move, “knowing it to be false and with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of Isiagu Community and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 449(a) of the Criminal Code Cap 36, Vol. II, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991.

After hearing the submissions of the prosecutor for the complainant, Igwe Nwankwo, First Defendant represented by Barrister Cyril Eziamaka, Second Defendant’s lawyer, Kingsley Obiekwe, the presiding judge adjourned the case to March 10, 2021 for final ruling.

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