A man, Temple Ngwoke 33, has been charged before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria for allegedly smoking cigarette inside a filling station at Ikate area of Lekki, Lagos.

He was arraigned on a three-count charge of felony to wit, attempt to commit arson, conduct likely to cause breach of peace and giving false information to the police.

The police stated in the charge sheet that the accused was arrested following a complaint by Abimbola Olawale, manager in charge of Oando filling station at Ikate, Lekki, Lagos, that the accused, a motorist who claimed that he wanted to buy fuel, lighted a cigarette inside the filling station which could have resulted in fire.

He added that instead of him to heed the warning to stop smoking or move out of the filling station, he drove to a police station and reported that his N100,000 was stolen from the booth of his car, a claim he knew was false.

During investigation, the police discovered that no money was stolen from his car and that he actually lighted a cigarette inside the filling station.

The accused later confessed that nobody stole his money and confirmed that he lighted a cigarette inside the filling station. He begged for forgiveness.

The offences, the prosecutor, Inspector Gbemileke Agoi, stated contravened Sections 340, 44(1) and 93 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria.

Part of the charge reads: “That you, Temple Ngwoke on 4 May, 2012 at Oando filling station, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, in the aforesaid magisterial district did attempt to commit arson by smoking cigarette inside the filling station and also falsely accused Abimbola Olawale by lying that he stole the sum of N100,000 you kept in the boot of your car.”

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and Magistrate J.A. Adegun admitted him on bail in the sum of N100,000 with one surety in like sum.

He adjourned the matter till 16 May, 2012 for mention.

—Paul Iyoghojie