An Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday sentenced Aminu Yerima, who was charged with impersonating the National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, to six months imprisonment.
The Magistrate, Mrs. Grace Adebayo, who presided over the matter, however, gave the convict an option to pay N800 fine.
Adebayo said that the court had seen the remorse shown by the convict and had considered him
as a first offender who had been in detention since December 2012.
She said the sentence was to deter other offenders of like minds and anyone who was not satisfied with the sentence should appeal to the High Court within 30 days.
The case had been adjourned for ruling after the counsel to the convict, Mr. Edwin Attah, appealed that some sections stated in the First Information Report (FIR) be dropped.
Attah had prayed that sections 324 and 325 of the Penal Code included in the FIR against his client be struck out as his client never collected anything from anybody.
However, the magistrate overruled the application made by the defence counsel and asked that the FIR be read again to the accused to enable him to take his plea.
The prosecutor, Mr. Stanley Nwodo, later said that “justice is for all and equilibrium should be maintained.
“In order to be fair to Yerima, I pray the court to drop sections 324 and 325 which the convict is being charged with and thus try him summarily.”
The convict pleaded with the court to be lenient with him, saying the offence was a mistake and that he would not repeat it again.
Yerima said he had not seen his family for about four months and that his intention was to be able to support his family.
“I lost my father while in detention, I have realised my mistake and will not commit such an offence again.”
Meanwhile, Adebayo had struck out the charges of section 324 and 325 of the Penal Code against him as stated in the FIR.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that both the convict and his counsel were elated about the judgment.
The counsel said that he was happy that the magistrate exercised her discretion in favour of his client.
The convict was earlier arraigned on 3 April for impersonating the NSA.
Nwodo had told the court that Yerima while assuming the character of the NSA, called the ministers of finance, information, education and petroleum resources, an offence which contravened sections 132, 324 and 325 of the Penal Code.