The Nigeria Police Force has charged a 42-year-old Lebanese, Rami El Masri, to court for allegedly forging a letter of Nigerian citizenship confirmation and parading himself as a Nigerian.
The police claimed that Masri forged the said Nigerian citizenship confirmation letter with reference number MIA/NAT 382/1 with the intent it might be acted upon as genuine.
The foreigner was accused of falsely and fraudulently presenting himself as a Nigerian citizen by birth, an act the police said was contrary to and punishable under sections 363 (3)(4)(O), 409 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.
Masri, who was said to own two construction companies along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, was on Thursday arraigned before a Lagos State Magistrate’s Court in Igbosere.
The three counts pressed against him by the police bordered on conspiracy, forgery and uttering of false documents.
The police prosecutor, Susan Ezema, told the court that Masri and others who were still at large committed the alleged offences between December 15, 2008 and November 19, 2014.
The police claimed that on November 19, 2014, the foreigner “knowingly and fraudulently uttered the aforesaid false letter of confirmation as if it was genuine by presenting same to CSP Martin Nwogoh, a police officer attached to the Police Special Fraud Unit, Lagos office.”
But upon reading the charges to him before a court presided over by Mrs Joy Ugbomiko, Masri pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
He was subsequently admitted to a N200,000 bail with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate said one of the sureties must be a company director and an owner of a landed property in Lagos, whose both office and residential addresses must be verifiable.
The case was adjourned till June 16, 2016 for mention.