Court sentences woman for visa fraud

court of appeal
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A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has convicted a woman for producing false documents in a bid to secure a visa into the United Kingdom.

Awoke Omobolaji was convicted in a suit by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC) in which the commission accused her of violating sections, 13,17 and 26 of the ICPC Act.

The ICPC, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said the court ordered Ms Omobolaji to pay N150, 000 and perform community development service every Tuesday for six weeks.

“Further to the efforts of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to bring the scourge of visa racketeering to a halt, a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, has convicted a woman, Awoke Nimota Omobolaji for falsification of documents in order to facilitate her United Kingdom (UK) visa application.

“The convict was charged before Hon. Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court by ICPC on a 5-count charge bordering on forgery and conspiracy contrary to sections 13 , 17 (1)(c), 26(1)(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, and punishable under Section 68 of the same Act.

“The judge, in her ruling, sentenced Awoke to a fine of N150,000, community service every Tuesday for six weeks in the court premises under the supervision of the court registrar and write a letter of apology to the British High Commission within 4 weeks and a copy of same submitted to the court.”

The commission said Ms Omobolaji had paid a man to fake an invitation from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with a fake introduction letter from the foundation, dated May 14, 2018.

“Awoke had received a forged Thomas Reuter invitation and Introduction Letter dated 14th May 2018 from one Mr Ijamilusi Ayodele who is currently at large, which she knew was fake, in order to process her UK visa application.

“She also obtained a forged Thompson Reuter Limited, February pay slip, as part of the documents presented to the UK embassy with the intent that the British High Commission would act on it as genuine and grant her a UK visa.

“The convict in a bid to fast-track the procurement of the visa claimed to be a strategic sales specialist for Thomson Reuters Nigeria office and presented the above-stated documents.”

The ICPC said it arrested the woman at the premises of the British High Commission office and made further findings about the extent of her culpability in the matter.

“ICPC, on receiving intelligence report that Awoke had presented false and misleading documents, arrested her at the premises of the British High Commission’s office at 11, Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

“Further investigations also revealed that she had agreed to pay Ayodele the sum of N150, 000 to prepare the documents, and had made an initial payment of N50, 000 into his Guaranty Trust Bank account.”

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