By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday arrested a 33-year- old man, Nathaniel Benjamin, for allegedly impersonating the police Anti-Robbery Squad (ARS).
The suspect, who was fully kitted in the squad’s camouflage face cap, a back pack, black trouser with black boots to match, was arrested at the Alakija area of Ojo by a team of policemen on patrol at the area.
He was said to have been arrested following a tip off from members of the public.
Following his arrest, the suspect who claimed to be from Kogi State but works as a private driver in Lagos, was transferred to the police headquarters at Ikeja for further investigation.
Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed that he impersonated the police in order to escape paying fares to commercial bus drivers, adding that he loves police work but all his efforts to become a policeman had met brick walls.
He said: “I am a private driver at the FESTAC Town area of Lagos. I get N30,000 as monthly salary but this is not enough to cater for my needs. I decided to dress as a police officer so that when I board a commercial vehicle, the driver will not collect fare from me.
“I decided to impersonate policemen because my salary is meagre and all efforts to earn more or get a well paying job have been futile. I am desperate to save a few amount from free transportation that is why I decided to impersonate police men.
“I got the uniform from my late brother who was a policeman. I was not using the police uniform to defraud anybody. I did not also use it to escort heavy-duty vehicles. Like I said, I was using it to get free transportation.
“I got the uniform after my elder brother who was a policeman died in a road crash. My brother had not spent one year in the police Force when he was killed in a road accident last year.
“After his burial, I decided to use his uniform. I have been wearing it to get free ride for three months. I love police work. I have been applying to the police Force for recruitment for a long time but I was not selected.
“I have also applied for the recent recruitment and I have been praying to God to help me get into the Police Force.
I don’t know that dressing in police uniform is an offence.
“It was my love for the force that made me impersonate police and also the free ride that comes with being a police officer.”