Hon. Justice S. S. Ogunsanya of an Ikeja High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State has found Mr. Ademosu Iseoluwapo and Itoha Ihiere guilty of visa racketeering and therefore convicted them of the offence.
The convicts were dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for forgery and providing misleading information to the British High Commission in Lagos with the intent of procuring visas to the United Kingdom.
The 1st convict, Mr. Ademosu Iseoluwapo, a staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had used his position in the ministry to procure false and misleading documents for the 2nd convict, Mr. Itoha Ihiere who was not even a staff of the Ministry while trying to procure visas for other genuine staff of the Ministry.
Iseoluwapo had provided Ihiere with a fake Lagos State Government identity card and pay-slip of the ministry to facilitate his visa procurement.
The convicts had earlier pleaded guilty to a two-count charge for “…knowingly making false statement to an officer of the Commission with the intent to mislead thereby contravening Section 25(1)(a) and punishable under Section 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act, 2000 which prescribes 2 years imprisonment or an option of a fine not exceeding N100,000 or both.”
In his allocutus, the defence counsel, Mr. Qudus Mumuni pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the 1st convict is the bread winner of his family. He added that Iseoluwapo committed the offence with the intent to help Ihiere go abroad to make a living and help his family especially his only daughter.
In her ruling, Hon. Justice Ogunsanya, held that such actions by the convicts were responsible for giving the nation a bad name abroad. She therefore advised Ihiere to opt for an honest means of making a living such as farming in order to cater for his daughter.
The judge therefore sentenced Iseoluwapo and Ihiere to pay a fine of N50,000 each.