Certificate Forgery: Nigerian Woman Barred By UK Embassy

Shonekan, a woman caught in a legal whirlwind, has spoken out after being handed a 10-year ban by the United Kingdom embassy. The ban came as a result of suspicions surrounding the authenticity of a Police character certificate.

Speaking to reporters at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) annex in Alagbon, Lagos, yesterday, the woman who was taken aback by the revelation shared her story. She explained how a cybercafe operator named Shina Obafemi had provided her with the document near the FCID headquarters in Alagbon just last year.

In her words: “I was issued the Police Character certificate in a cafe at Alagbon in September 2023. I paid N50, 000.

“I wasn’t lured; I believed I was in the right place because it was police environment. I was directed to a person within the police station to assist me with the process”.

“But the embassy said it was fake when I presented it in December 2023 and I was banned from entering the UK for 10 years.

“I informed the police, and upon investigation, they arrested those involved.”

The four suspects apprehended were displayed yesterday by ASP Mayegun Aminat, the Public Relations Officer of FCID.

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Explaining how they were arrested, she said: ”Upon receiving a complaint from Mrs Shonekan Rukayat Mojisola, bothering on falsification of police character certificate, obtaining money under false pretence, impersonation, forgery of signatures and official stamp. FCID Annex operatives attached to X-Squad took swift action which led to the arrest of Osinowo O Obafemi, 35, Sebastine Olamide, 21; Shittu Babatunde, 25 and Bilal Yekeen, 25 years.

“The investigating team conducted a search on a premises at 267 Igbosere Road, off Obalende Area Lagos Island, Lagos State and uncovered a plethora of fraudulent documents which included fake Police character certificates, seven medical report issued from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH belonging to several individuals, 65 fake international driving permits,18 international driving license permit forms with different pictures belonging to different persons, one pack of both booklets of the traffic foreign vehicle regulation license among others.

“Further investigation confirmed the suspects’ involvement in the criminal racket involving the issuance of the fake police character certificate that led to the 10-year ban of Mrs Shonekan by the UK. They also admitted to issuing forged documents to several individuals.

“The AIG FCID Annex Lagos, AIG Idowu Owohunwa, for the umpteenth time emphasizes the importance of Nigerians reporting criminal activities and assures that offender will face the full wrath of the law. He also urged members of the public to seek information from the appropriate authorities”.

Confessing to his wrongdoing, Obafemi, one of the suspects under investigation, revealed that despite his lengthy tenure of 13 years in the cybercafe trade, he only initiated the practice of forging certificates in November 2023.

According to Obafemi, “Basically, I operate a cybercafe where typesetting, graphic design, and any other document are done. A police officer approached me, wanting a document redesigned. I unknowingly complied. After realizing the implications, I ceased my involvement when the officer was apprehended, and later I was apprehended by the FCID.

He stated that he had edited the documents brought to him and fully admitted to committing the crime. He also claimed that the others were not involved; they were simply his apprentices who had done what he had instructed them to do.

Africa Today News, New York 

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