February 21, 2024

Japa: UK embassy imposes 10-year ban on Nigerian woman over alleged certificate forgery

Japa: UK embassy imposes 10-year ban on Nigerian woman over alleged certificate forgery

…as Police arrest four suspects over forgery of certificate 

By Efe Onodjae & Mary Imokhe

A woman identified as Shonekan has raised the alarm after the United Kingdom embassy banned her for 10 years, over alleged forgery of a Police character certificate. 

The woman who expressed shock at the discovery, told journalists yesterday, at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID annex, Alagbon, Lagos that a cybercafe operator she identified as Shina Obafemi, issued it to her in Alagbon, close to the FCID, last year. 

According to her: “ I was issued the Police Character certificate in a cafe at Alagbon in September 2023. I paid N50, 000.

“I wasn’t lured; I believed I was in the right place because it was police environment. I was directed to a person within the police station to assist me with the process”. 

“But the embassy said it was fake when I presented it in December 2023 and I was banned from entering the UK for 10 years. 

I informed the police, and upon investigation, they arrested those involved”

The four suspects arrested were paraded yesterday. by the FCID  Public Relations Officer,  ASPb Mayegun Aminat.

Explaining how they were arrested, she said: ”Upon receiving a complaint from Mrs Shonekan Rukayat Mojisola, bothering on falsification of police character certificate, obtaining money under false pretence, impersonation, forgery of signatures and official stamp. FCID Annex operatives attached to X-Squad took swift action which led to the arrest of  Osinowo O Obafemi, 35, Sebastine Olamide, 21; Shittu Babatunde, 25 and Bilal Yekeen, 25 years.

“The investigating team conducted a search on a premises at 267 Igbosere Road, off Obalende Area Lagos Island, Lagos State and uncovered a plethora of fraudulent documents which included fake Police character certificates, seven medical report issued from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH belonging to several individuals, 65  fake international driving permits,18 international driving license permit forms with different pictures belonging to different persons, one pack of both booklets of the traffic foreign vehicle regulation license among others.

“Further investigation confirmed the suspects’ involvement in the criminal racket involving the issuance of the fake police character certificate that led to the 10-year ban of Mrs Shonekan by the UK. They also admitted to issuing forged documents to several individuals.

“The AIG FCID Annex Lagos, AIG Idowu Owohunwa, for the umpteenth time emphasizes the importance of Nigerians reporting criminal activities and assures that offender will face the full wrath of the law. He also urged members of the public to seek information from the appropriate authorities”.

One of the suspects, Obafemi, who admitted culpability, said he had been in the cybercafe business for 13 years but that he only started forging certificates in November 2023.

According to Obafemi, “Basically, I operate a cybercafe where typesetting, graphic design, and any other document are done. A police officer approached me, wanting a document redesigned. I unknowingly complied. After realizing the implications, I ceased my involvement when the officer was apprehended, and later I was apprehended by the FCID.

“I edited the documents brought to me. I fully admit to committing this crime. But the rest are not involved. They are just my apprentices who did what I instructed them to do.”