The Police on Tuesday arraigned a 44-year-old man, Martins Okpe, before a Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly impersonating his friend, Dr George Davidson, a medical doctor.
Okpe, a father of five, from Benue, is accused of stealing Davidson’s academic certificates and using same to secure employment in the Federal Ministry of Health in 2006.
The accused was arraigned before Justice Gabriel Kolawole on a five-count charge of stealing, impersonation, certificate cloning, felony and false declaration.
The offences contravened the provisions of sections 383, 486 and 105 of the Criminal Code Law of Nigeria, punishable under sections 390 and 467 of the same law.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against him.
Okpe is accused in Count 2 of the charge of tendering the cloned copies, and claiming ownership, of the said certificates at the office of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Ebonyi State.
Based on the forged certificate, the accused was offered a temporary appointment letter with Ref. No. FC. 5600/C.7951/24, dated Aug. 30, 2006 as Senior Medical Officer on Grade Level 12 Step 2.
Okpe is accused in Count 3 of impersonation during the verification exercise of professional skills of Resident Doctors by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, which is prejudicial to Davidson’s professional trade.
Counts 4 and 5 of the charge accused Okpe of felony for stealing General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Certificate No. NGSG/ 120410/ B. Candidate No. 07208045 of December 1987.
The accused is said to have presented the falsified, cloned WASC of his friend along with the other falsified certificates to get employed in the Federal Civil Service.
Okpe who was Dr Davidson’s best man at his wedding, was one-time chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Federal Ministry of Health, while Davidson currently works at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos.
Ruling on the bail application of the accused, Justice Kolawole granted him bail in the sum of one million with two sureties in like sum.
He ordered that the two sureties must be civil servants not below Grade Level 12 in the Federal Civil Service.
The judge also ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje prisons in Abuja pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Justice Kolawole adjourned the case to October 13 when it would have been assigned to a judge for trial since he was a vacation judge.