The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a school proprietor, Motunrayo Olasebikan, and another man, Adefisayo Tijani, before a State High Court sitting in Ibadan over an alleged visa scam in Oyo State.
Olaosebikan and Tijani were arraigned before the State High Court presided over Justice Ladiran Akintola, on a seven-count charge of alleged conspiracy, forgery, and uttering.
The arraignment of both suspects on Thursday followed a petition received by the EFCC, Ibadan zonal office from one Inumidunsola Popoola, who wrote on behalf of himself and other victims that were said to have been allegedly duped by Olaosebikan and Tijani.
Popoola, in the petition written to EFCC, claimed 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 by the defendants after they were turned down at the point of traveling.
During the court hearing, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them and that the documents issued to the petitioners were valid as they were obtained from the embassy.
The charges reads: “That you: Olasebikan Motunrayo and Tijani 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 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”.
In view of their plea, the 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, meanwhile, prayed the court for a short adjournment to hear the bail applications of their respective clients.
After listening to pleas from both parties, the judge subsequently adjourned the case to October 7 for the hearing of the bail applications and ordered that the accused be remanded at the EFCC’s custody.