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Visa Scammer Jailed Sixteen Years

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Justice Adebunkola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, on November 21, 2012, convicted Femi Maurice who was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to four years imprisonment
Maurice was arraigned on July 1, 2007, on a four count charge of obtaining under false pretence, contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act.

His road to prison followed a petition to the EFCC, where the complainant alleged that sometimes in February, 2007 on his way to Lagos via C.N. Okoli luxurious bus from Abuja , he met the convict who introduced himself as a visa agent and protocol officer with the National Assembly, Abuja .

The complainant wrote that the convict claimed he processes visas for people and buttressed his claim by showing him six Nigerian International Passports with visas which he said could be procured at the cost of N350, 000.00 apiece and also told him that there are slots for four people but that he only succeeded in presenting three people including himself, his brother, Bello Kabir and his landlord’s son.

The court was told that the accused person, after succeeding in convincing the complainant, collected the sum of one million, one hundred and twenty six thousand Naira (N1, 126, 000.00) under the false pretence of procuring a U.K visa for him, his brother and his landlord’s son but that the visas which the convict procured were fake.

He however pleaded not guilty to the four count charge. Prosecution counsel, Gift Odibo, in proving her case, called three witnesses and tendered about sixteen exhibits. At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defence called just one witness and tendered no document.

On the 21st of November, 2012, the accused was convicted on all four counts and sentenced to four years imprisonment on each count which adds up to sixteen years. The sentence is to run concurrently from the date of judgment.

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