A visa fraud syndicate has been arrested by police for forging the signature of former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
The suspects had reportedly approached the Italian consulate in Victoria Island, Lagos to obtain pilgrims visas to Rome with documents containing forged signature of Onaiyekan, who is the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.
The arrested suspects are: Ikenna Aningwu , 28; Ebere Okere , 36; Toyin Dada , 36 ; Naboth Iyke , 35 ; and Yomi Alalade, 39 .
According to The Punch, quoting an unnamed police source: “Sometime in November 2017 , Aningwu and five other suspects at large conspired with Okere , Dada , Iyke and Alalade to forge documents for visas . Aningwu and the five others wanted to go for pilgrimage in Rome .
“In a desperate attempt to get the approval of the Italian Embassy on Victoria Island , Lagos , Iyke and others, who are at large, forged the signature of the cardinal in the documents and presented same to the embassy.
“In the course of verification , the embassy contacted the cardinal, who said he had never had any encounter with any of the suspects before and denied the signature as his . ”
The suspects were then arrested and charged before an Igbosere Magistrates Court on fraud and forgery charges.
They were released on N100,000 bail with two sureties in like sum after they pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court adjourned the case till January 17, 2018.