For giving false information about his marital status, an Ikeja Special Offences Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday sentenced a UK visa applicant, Kolawole Viyon, to three years imprisonment. The suspect was ragged to the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC, following a petition from the British High Commission.
The prosecutor, Mr Gogodoye West, told the court that the defendant with another, Olaronke Akerele, committed the offence on Dec. 13, 2016, at the ICPC Lagos Zonal Office. West said officials of the British High Commission had in 2016 handed over the UK Visa applicant and his accomplice, now at large, to the ICPC, for giving false information in their visa application forms.
“In his extra-judicial statement volunteered under caution before Mrs Nkem Ezenwa, an investigating officer with the ICPC, made a false statement that Olaronke Akerele is his third and legally married wife. Viyon informed Ezenwa and Mr Kenneth Agba, another investigating officer of the ICPC, that the marriage ceremony between himself and Akerele was conducted by an Imam under Islamic law. Viyon also lied that he had signed the certificate of marriage and that the ceremony was conducted at Lagos Island, Lagos.”
However delivering her judgement, Justice Mojisola Dada, said the accused person was guilty as charged. Following a plea bargain entered into with the prosecution, the judge, however, gave Viyon an option of N.3m fine.
“Following the defendant’s guilty plea, he is hereby convicted accordingly. The terms of the plea bargain agreement are hereby adopted as the sentence of this court and the judgment thereof.
“He is hereby sentenced to three years imprisonment or the fine imposed,” the judge said.
The judge, however, noted that if the fine was not paid within 24 hours, “Viyon will have to mandatorily serve his prison term.”
Two US visa applicants, Olusola Alabi and Balogun Teslim, were also sentenced to two years in prison for presenting fake documents.