By Henry Odeh
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal office, on Thursday, September 24, 2020, arraigned two persons, Motunrayo Olasebikan and Abideen Adefisayo Tijani, before Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan for alleged involvement in a visa scam.
Olasebikan, who claimed to be a school proprietress in the state capital, was arraigned alongside Tijani on a seven-count charge of conspiracy, forgery and uttering.
One of the charge reads: “That you: Olasebikan Motunrayo and Tijani Abideen Adefisayo on or about September 2018, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial division of this Honourable Court, did make document titled: “Electronic Travel Authorisation” “No. J511464256” in the name of one Adediran Pamilerin Adedayo purporting it to have been issued by the Canadian High Commission on the 6th of July, 2016 and expiring on 6th of June, 2021 with the intent that it may be acted upon as genuine, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence”.
Their arraignment followed a petition to the EFCC from one Inumidunsola Popoola who wrote on behalf of himself and other victims.
Popoola alleged that sometimes in February 2018 he and three others were tricked by the defendants into parting with monies running into millions of naira for processing travel documents. The suspects, he added, presented themselves to be registered travel agents licensed to undertake the task.
He further alleged that though they were given some documents as agreed, it was later discovered that the papers were forged as they were turned down at the point of traveling.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
In view of their plea, prosecution team led by Dr. Ben Ubi prayed the court for a trial date and an order to remand the duo in custody pending the trial date.
The defence counsel, A. B. C. Ademiluyi and S. O. Alli, prayed the court for a short adjournment to hear the bail applications of their respective clients.
Justice Akintola subsequently adjourned the case to October 7 for hearing of the bail applications, and ordered that the accused be remanded at the EFCC’s custody.