Two Nigerian visa agents have been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without an option fine for defrauding the United States’ Embassy in Lagos of the sum of N50 million with fake Visa payment receipts for B1 and B2 Visa categories for 350 fresh visa applicants.
The convicts are Adefila Ismaila Adekunle, 44 and Busari Kabiru, 25.
Chief Magistrate, Folashade Botoku of a Lagos, Nigeria’s Igbosere Chief Magistrates Court handed down the judgment.
The convicts were found convicts guilty of the three counts preferred against them by the police at the Special Fraud Unit, PSFU, Ikoyi, Lagos during the trial spanning five years.
A third defendant, Friday Attah was lucky as Botoku discharged and acquitted him for want of evidence.
The sentence of the duo is to run concurrently. The trio were charged on a three-count of forgery and stealing.
Police counsel, ASP Wewe Adegbayi had told the court in charge No D/07/2015 that in February, 2015 officials at the US Embassy in Lagos represented by the Regional security officer.
Christopher Cicoria petitioned the Commissioner of Police, in charge of the Police Special Fraud Unit, PSU, Ikoyi, Lagos that they had apprehended visa agents, Adefila Islamila Adekunle and Busari Kabiru who defrauded the US Embassy of the sum of N50 million with fake visa payment receipts for B1 and B2 Visa categories for 350 fresh applicants.
Adegbayi said that following the report, the police swung into action and arrested the suspect, Adekunle at the Embassy and that during investigation, Adekunle allegedly confessed to the crime and said that they used one original visa payment receipt of one his customer seeking for B1 and B2 Visa categories at the Embassy for other 350 fresh applicants before he was arrested.
Adekunle allegedly stated, “I conspired with Busari Kabiru and Friday Attah to defraud the US Embassy by using one original Visa payment receipts for 350 fresh applicants and converted the money they paid for the visa payment receipt to our use.
“After we paid the normal fee for customers, seeking for B1 and B2 visa categories, we would used the visa payment receipts issued by the embassy for other 350 fresh applicants by using computer to erase the name on the original receipt and replacing it with another name and submitted them to the embassy officials.”