The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), said it has secured a conviction against another visa racketeer, Giwa Sulaimon, who was earlier arraigned for forgery and making false statements.
In a statement issued by the ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Monday, it said the commission filed a three-count charge before S. O. Solebo of an Ikeja High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State against the convict.
The allegations bordered on providing misleading information to the United States of America (USA) consulate in Lagos with the intent of procuring a visa which contravened Section 17(1)(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, respectively.
The statement added that Mr Giwa was also arraigned on allegations of making false statements to officers of the commission averring that the documents submitted to the Consulate were genuine when they were not, which is contrary to Section 25 of the law establishing the ICPC.
Mrs Okoduwa, in the statement, said trouble started for Mr Giwa when ICPC received intelligence that he had submitted a visa application to the USA consulate with misleading and fraudulent documents.
Mrs Okoduwa added that on the set day for further interview on his application, he was arrested by operatives of ICPC and the following documents were retrieved from him: a United Bank for Africa (UBA) letter conveying approval for his annual leave; a Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) statement of account.
Mrs Okoduwa said that further investigations revealed that the convict was not a staff of UBA as claimed and that the content of the statement of account he had was not a true representation of his account with GTB and therefore had been falsified.
She added that it was also discovered that the visas for United Kingdom, Republic of Benin, Republic of Togo and Ghana contained in his international passport were fake.
According to Mrs Okoduwa, the convict proposed a plea bargain upon which the prosecution filed a three-count amended charge indicating a plea bargain and sentence agreement which was executed by both parties.
Consequently, the convict pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
The statement added that the trial judge convicted Mr Giwa on his plea of guilty and sentenced him to pay a fine of N50,000 only on each count in lieu of custodial sentence.
“The defendant was also made to undertake to be of good behavior for a period of one year and to execute a bond to this effect with the High Court Registry in the sum of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (300, 000.00) to be forfeited should he breach the terms of same. Failure upon which shall result in his imprisonment for a period of one year.”