Visa scam: Rights group petitions Ambode, CJ over miscarriage of justice by Ikorodu magistrate

Posted by News Express | 18 March 2016 | 3,193 times

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A human rights group in Nigeria, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has petitioned the Lagos State Governor Akinwumi Ambode and Chief Judge, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, over what it described as miscarriage of justice by Magistrate Olanrewaju Olatunji of Ikorudu Magistrate Court, in a case involving Commissioner of Police vs Kazeem Lasisi.

 In the petition copied to Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Mudashiru Obasa and host of others, the rights group also faulted the magistrate for dismissing the case of fraud against Lasisi, “who obtained the sum of N326,000 from his client, Olasunkanmi Morufu, to help him process visa to the Republic of Tunisia, which turned out to be fake; as Morufu had travelled to Tunisia before he was deported on the ground of fake visa.” It added that Lasisi had earlier made confessional statement to the police on the matter.

This was contained in the letter of petition dated February 5, 2016 with the title: “Report of miscarriage of justice by Magistrate Olanrewaju O. Olatunji of Magistrate Court 2, Ita-Elewa, Ikorodu, Lagos State Judicial Division, in a case of Commissioner of Police vs Kazeem Lasisi with a charge No IKD/B/43/2015 and why Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice is demanding for revisit of the case, and that justice should be done to the parties in the case.”

It was signed by the CHRSJ’s executive chairman, Comrade Alimi Sulaiman Adeniyi, and made available to News Express.

The petition partly reads: “Investigation revealed that Kazeem Lasisi of 77b Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos State, defrauded Olasunkanmi Morufu to the tune of #326,000, when Kazeem Lasisi promised his client (Morufu) to help him process visa to Republic of Tunisia. Kazeem gave fake visa to Morufu, which he used to travel out of the country, but was deported back to Nigeria at the Tunisia Airport for entering the country with fake documents.

“On coming back to Nigeria, Morufu reported the matter to the Ajegunle Police Station, Ikorodu. The Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Mr Olatunji Femi, with phone number: 08025536007 charged the matter to the Magistrate Court presided over by Magistrate Olanrewaju O Olatunji, after the suspect confessed to the Police of delivering fake visa document to the complainant, Mr Morufu. The suspect earlier wrote a ‘Letter of Undertaking’ dated June 18, 2015 at the Ajegunle Police Station, Ikorodu area of Lagos State in the presence of CPL Kareem Tajudeen as witness to the agreement, which Lasisi promised to refund the money back to Morufu on/before 30th of June, 2015.”

The rights group added that, according to their independent investigation, instead of the presiding magistrate to give justice to the parties on the matter in question of which the parties presented themselves in court for almost 98 per cent of the proceedings, which it opined was contrary to section 36(7) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As a result, it called for a re-visitation of the case by the Lagos State Judiciary, so as to give fair hearing and justice to the parties in involved.

Comrade Adeniyi described the magistrate’s action as unlawful, an aberration, ungodly,  undemocratic, unprofessional, disheartening and unbecoming of a judicial officer.

•Photo shows Comrade Alimi Sulaiman Adeniyi.

Source: News Express

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