#Legal Sense


By Funmilayo Olagunju


By virtue of Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, impersonation in general is a felony (which is the highest division of offence).

A felony is any offence which is declared by law to be a felony, or is punishable, without proof of previous conviction, with death or with imprisonment for three years or more. Consequently, any offence of impersonation is punishable with three teyars imprisonment or more.

When an offender impersonates a beneficiary in a will or a person entitled by operation of law to lay claim to property, he is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

When an offender makes an acknowledgement in the name of another person lawfully authorized to take such acknowledgement of a deed or other instrument, he is liable to imprisonment for Seven years.

Do not impersonate the signature of a person or frank a document unlawfully.

When an offender impersonates a person named in a certificate, he is guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment as if he had forged the document.

“Any person who, being a person to whom any document has been issued by lawful authority whereby he is certified to be a person possessed of any qualification recognised by law for any purpose, or to be the holder of any office, or to be entitled to exercise any profession, trade, or business, or to be entitled to any right or privilege, or to enjoy any rank or status, sells, gives or lends the document to another person with intent that other person may represent himself to be the person named therein, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant”

Section 487 of the Criminal Code Act.

It is a felony to give with or without cost any issued certificate or license to another person to use than the person in whose name it was issued.

A closer look at the section reveals that the act of giving certificate of business registration from Corporate Affairs Commission and license from other regulatory agencies to another person to use is a felony. Beside the risk of incurring the contractual liability of the impersonator, the actual owners risk a criminal charge. Those who register business entities for the sole purpose of “lending” unregistered individuals or paid sureties should understand the legal implication of their action.

“Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed —without remedy”

Proverbs 29:1.


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