Court jails woman 22 years for falsifying documents in visa application

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Gavel and scales

A lagos High Court at Igbosere has sentenced a woman, Mrs. Philomena Nwanorue to 22 years in prison for falsification of documents in a Visa application.Spokesperson to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.She said the ICPC arraigned the convict, alongside Mrs. Adeline Ifeyinwa Eke Alu, on a five-count charge of conspiracy and submission of falsified travelling documents to the Indian High Commission.

This, she, said was contrary to Section 22 (1) (C) and punishable under Section 17 (1) (C); Section 26 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 13 of the ICPC Act Act 2000. Okoduwa said the court, presided over by Justice Lawal Akapo, found Alu not guilty, as it was its view that she was also a victim of the convict, and consequently discharged and acquitted her.

The judge, on the other hand, found Mrs. Nwanorue guilty on all the counts, but requested to know from ICPC prosecutors, Mr. Kabir Elelu and Mrs. Yvonne William Mbata, whether she had had any record of conviction.The prosecution cleared her of any previous wrongdoing, prompting the convict’s counsel, Mr. Chris Obiaka to request the court to temper justice with mercy, considering her health condition, which was why she needed to travel to India.

Justice Akapo sentenced Nwanorue on each of four-count charge to five years imprisonment, and two years on the fifth count.The judge said the punishments were given “to ensure that Nigeria is a country with law-abiding citizens.”

The sentences are to run concurrently.Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, has ordered the interim forfeiture of assets and properties traced to a former chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme.

Acting spokesman to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tony Orilade, disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.According to Orilade, Justice Ojukwu granted the application pending the hearing and determination of the trial.

The judge made the order sequel to an ex-parte originating summons filed by the EFCC, through its counsel, Elizabeth Alabi. The request included an order of interim attachment/forfeiture of the asset attachment of the properties set out in the schedule attached herein.Others were an order stopping any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the properties/assets described in the schedule attached herein.

Orilade further disclosed that the schedule of properties referred to in the summons includes: parcels of lands, duplexes, a bank building, and hotel buildings, amongst others scattered across Abuja, Bayelsa, Delta states.

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