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School proprietress, other in court over visa scam

An Ibadan-based school proprietress, Motunrayo Olasebikan, was on Thursday arraigned before the Oyo State High Court over alleged involvement in a visa scam.

Olasebikan was arraigned alongside one Abideen Tijani, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Ladiran Akintola on seven counts bordering on conspiracy, forgery and uttering documents

According to a statement by the anti-graft Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the defendants were arrested after one Inumidunsola Popoola wrote a petition to the commission on behalf of himself and other victims.

It was gathered that the defendants, who presented themselves as registered travel agents sometime in February 2018, tricked the victims to part with money for processing travel documents.

Popoola, in his petition, alleged that though the defendants gave them some documents, it was later discovered that the papers were forged, as they were turned down at the point of travelling.

The charges read in part, “That you, Motunrayo Olasebikan and Abideen Tijani, around September 2018, at Ibadan, within the Ibadan judicial division of this honourable court, did make a 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 July 6, 2016, and expiring on June 6, 2021, with the intent that it may be acted upon as genuine, which you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence.”

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The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following the plea of the defendants, the prosecution, led by Ben Ubi, asked the court for a trial date and urged the court to remand them in custody.

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 clients.

Justice Akintola subsequently adjourned the case till October 7 for the hearing of the bail applications and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the EFCC’s custody.

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