Socialite Arraigned Over Visa Scam

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A Lagos socialite, Chinedu Ezeonu, 41, and his aide, Emmanuel Eze, 29, alleged to have conspired to fraudulently obtain various sums of money from members of the public under the guise of procuring American Visas for them, have appeared before a Tinubu chief magistrate court, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

In a seven-count criminal charge number P/32/12 filed before the magistrate court by the police prosecuting counsel, Mr. Asuquo Effiong(SP), it was alleged that Chinedu Ezeonu and Emmanuel Eze between June, 2010 and January, 2012 in Lagos, conspired with others at large and fraudulently obtained money from the following people thus: $15,612 from Inoma Elsie, N1,300,000 from Chukwuka Leo, while N250,000 was also collected from Vivian Nwakwo under the pretence that they will use the said monies to procure United States visas for them, a representation they knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 312 of the criminal law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.

In a related development, three other persons Ofodeme Ikema, 36, Uzodimma Emeka 32, and Onyekacha Samuel alleged to have attempted to frustrate police investigation into the alleged visa scam have been arrested and arraigned before the court.

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In a two-count charge filed before the same chief magistrate by Asuquo Effiong, the three accused persons Ofodeme Ikema Uzodimma Emeka and Oyekacha Samuel and others at large on or about 7 May, 2012, intentionally given N1 million as gratification to Mr. Osung Ekpo(CSP), a police officer in order in other to influence him to refrain from acting in the exercise of his official duties of investigating the case, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 64 (1) (a) of the criminal law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.

All the accused persons who pleaded not guilty have been granted bail while the matter has been adjourned for trial.