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UK visa applicant sentenced to three years imprisonment for lying about his marital status

A UK visa applicant, Kolawole Viyon, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment by an an Ikeja Special Offences Court for giving false information about his marital status. Viyon was dragged to the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC following a petition from the British High Commission.

At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the ICPC through its counsel, Gogodoye West, told the court that the defendant and his accomplice, Olaronke Akerele, had committed the offence on December 13th 2016. West said officials of the British High Commission in 2016 handed over Viyon and his accomplice, now at large, to the ICPC, for giving false information in their visa application forms.

”In his extrajudicial statement volunteered under caution before Mrs. Nkem Ezenwa, an investigating officer with the ICPC, he made a false statement that Olaronke Akerele is his third and legally married wife. Viyon informed Ezenwa and Mr. Kenneth Agba, another investigating officer of the ICPC, that the marriage ceremony between him and Akerele was conducted by an Imam under Islamic law. The defendant said the marriage was evidenced by a certificate with number JUN/LB/0000064 which is dated January 9, 2016 and issued by the Jama-at-ul-Islamiyya of Nigeria. Viyon also lied that he had signed the marriage certificate and that the ceremony was conducted at No 108 Tokunboh St., Lagos Island, Lagos,” the prosecutor said.

Viyon claimed he was married but investigations by ICPC however showed that Viyon and Akerele were never married and that the marriage certificate issued by the Jama-at-ul-Islamiyya of Nigeria to that effect was fake.

When the charges were read to him, Viyon pleaded guilty.

Delivering judgement, Justice Mojisola Dada, said the accused person was guilty as charged. The presiding judge however aksed the accused to pay N.3m fine in lure of the jail term, adding that the fine must be paid within 24 hours after the judgement was delivered.

“Following the defendant’s guilty plea, he is hereby convicted accordingly. The terms of the plea bargain agreement are hereby adopted as the sentence of this court and the judgment thereof. He is hereby sentenced to three years imprisonment or the fine imposed,” the judge said.

In a related development, two US visa applicants, Olusola Alabi and Balogun Teslim, have been sentenced to two years in prison for presenting fake documents. The ICPC arraigned the convicts before Justice Mojishola Dada of a Lagos State High Court, accusing them of violating Section 25(1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The ICPC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, that the convicts procured a false annual leave letter from the United Bank of Africa to mislead the US Consulate, Victoria Island, Lagos, into believing that they were employees of the bank to facilitate the approval of their visa applications.

Justice Dada, in her ruling, sentenced them to two years imprisonment each with an option of fine.

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