By Lukman Olabiyi
A 42- year-old, Lebanese, Rami El Masri who was alleged to have forged a letter of confirmation of Nigeria Citizenship with Ref. No MIA/NAT 382, was docked before a Lagos State Magistrate Court, Igbosere.
Masri, who owns two construction companies on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, is facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and altering preferred against him by the police.
The Prosecutor, DSP Susan Ezema, told the court that Masri and others who are still at large committed the alleged offences between December 15, 2008 and November 19, 2014.
She alleged that the defendant on December 15, 2008, at 6 Oniru Street, in Apapa area, forged letter of Confirmation of the Nigerian Citizenship with Ref: No MIA/NAT382/1, in which he falsely and fraudulently presented himself as a Nigerian citizen by birth.
Ezema also stated that the defendant who presented himself as a Nigerian Citizen knew that it was false but wanted it to be acted upon as genuine in Nigeria.
The prosecutor further alleged that El Masri on November 19, 2014, at the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU), at 13 Milveton Road Ikoyi, presented the alleged forged letter to one CSP Martin Nwogoh, as if it was a genuine document.
According to the prosecutor, the defendant presented the letter with the intention that it be acted upon as genuine in Nigeria.
She said that the offences are punishable under Sections 363 (3), 363 (4) and 409 of the Criminal Law o f Lagos State, 2011.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Consequently, the Magistrate, Mrs. Joy Ugbomiko, granted him bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
She ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must be company directors or should have property anywhere.
She also said that addresses of the sureties and their places of business must be verified.
She adjourned the case till June 16 for mention.