By Lukman Olabiyi
A 57-year-old Beninese, Abduo Rachidatuo, has been arraigned before the Lagos State Magistrate’s Court, Igbosere, over alleged impersonation and disobedience of a court order.
Rachidatuo, a businesswoman, is standing trial on a three-count charge of breach of peace, contempt of court and impersonation.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted N500,000 bail.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Inspector Steven Molo, told the court that the defendant committed the offences between July 2015 and June 21, 2017, at Abule-Egba area of Lagos.
He said the accused falsely presented herself to be a Nigeria citizen by birth, particularly from Lagos State.
Said he: “The defendant, through an ECOWAS electronic passport, No. 06820812, presented herself to be Abudu Rachidatu, a Nigerian by birth, instead of Abduo Rachidatuo, a Benin national.
“However, a Republic of Benin passport, No. B0483183, which was issued to her on September 2, 2015, at Porto Novo, indicates that she is from Benin Republic and not Nigeria.”
The prosecutor also alleged that the defendant disobeyed the Federal High Court’s order, issued by Justice M. N. Yunusa and Justice M. B. Idris of the Lagos Division, respectively.
According to him, the two court orders were issued on September 9, 2015, with order No. FHC/L/CS/715/2015 and June 13, 2017, with order No. FHC/L/CS/883/2017, respectively.
The prosecutor told the court that the order had prohibited the accused from ejecting an employee of Rana Prestige Industries, Mr. Modest Senon, from the premises of the company.
He said the accused disobeyed the court order and ejected Senon without lawful excuse.
The offences contravened sections 114, 123 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The accused denied the charge and the Magistrate, Mrs. O. O. Oshin, granted her bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
She said one of the sureties must be a civil servant not less than grade level 14 and the other surety must show evidence of six months tax payment to the Lagos State government.
Oshin adjourned the case until July 26 for trial.