Fake Affidavit Business In Lagos Courts


The thriving business of issuing fake affidavits in all courts across Lagos State is a worrisome trend that is undermining the sanctity of the judiciary arm of government. Procurement of affidavits and documents from courts in Lagos has assumed a commercial dimension, as touts and court officials do brisk business by trading with the legal document, irrespective of the veracity of the contents and provisions of the law.

The law stipulates certain conditions for the issuance of affidavits. But those stipulations are daily circumvented by touts and court officials, who brazenly bend the rules and rob the system of millions in the process.

For age declaration, the law stipulates that no declarant under the age of 50 years could swear to an affidavit personally. He or she is required to come along with an older person such as the mother, the father, an uncle or an elder brother, who would inform the commissioner about his knowledge of the time the declarant was born as well as provide other necessary data about such a person.

This provision of the law is daily circumvented as court commissioners sign declarations without following stipulated procedure. This is also the case with other documentations in the court such as loss of items and change of name. The consequence of this is that anyone could simply falsify his or her age or any declaration and still get it signed in court.

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The matter is now worsened by touts in court premises who daily deceive people by issuing them fake affidavits. These touts make thousands of naira everyday signing these fake documents with their own stamps yet security operatives look the other way. In the past, court authorities tried to solve the problem by arresting touts and their collaborators who are court officials. The effort to some extent, significantly checked the problem.

It is , however, sad to note that the trend has continued unabated. Many touts now engage in the business as court management appears to be helpless. We condemn this trend and urge the Lagos High Court authorities to go after the touts and their collaborators.

People coming to the court to swear to affidavits should be directed to the right offices so that they don’t fall prey to touts. Touts who stubbornly continue to engage in the issuance of fake affidavits should also be promptly arrested and prosecuted to serve as  a deterrent to others. Preferably, a taskforce should be established to continuously check the problem that has deprived the judiciary of huge funds from the issuance of affidavits and other court documents.

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