Pastor Charged With Visa Fraud

A female pastor with one of Nigeria’s leading Pentecostal churches (name withheld), Felicia Ngozi Onuoha, has been arraigned before an Ikorodu Magistrate’s court on a 10-count charge of impersonation and fraud among others.

She was alleged to have received money from Chukwuma Nnamdi, Patience Damatie and Dike Jude in order to help them procure visas to Belarus, France and India but gave out fake visas to them.

Felicia, who was alleged to have committed the criminal acts between March 2011 and May 2012 also claimed to be a Deputy Superintendent of the Nigerian Immigration Services while trying to convince her clients to part with their money.

One of the people she allegedly duped (who wouldn’t want his name mentioned) told NEWS that: “Sometime in November last year, I wanted to go to Europe so someone introduced me to her as a minister of God who could help me get a visa to Europe and I went to meet her . She promised to help me procure a visa to Belarus and she charged me N530,000.  I paid N400,000 almost immediately and she assured me that the processing was not going to exceed  three weeks.

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“Within two weeks, I was told that the visa was ready and then, I took the balance of N103,000 to her. She delayed me for several weeks before eventually giving me the visa to Belarus. I travelled to Belarus on December 25, 2011 and wasn’t allowed into the country because the Customs officers there said I was in possession of a fake visa. Subsequently, I was taken to Istanbul in Turkey where I passed the night and got back to Nigeria on December 27, 2011. I went to meet her the next day and she had since asked me to forget the incident, promising that she would help me go to France instead and since then she had been deceiving me until I had to get the police involved.

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“The major reason all these happened to me was that I was made to believe that she was a minister of God with a big church in Grammar School, Ikorodu.”

pm news correspondent made efforts to speak with the alleged fraudster but she was reluctant to give any information as she’d rather wait for her lawyer.

In his own submission, Felicia’s lawyer explained to NEWS that  “she had been living outside the country for sometime and was contacted to help people procure visas which she did effectively because the people actually travelled out but the real reason they were sent back is what we don’t know.

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“Maybe they did not have genuine reasons for travelling and were stopped at the airport, I can’t say but instead of coming back to meet my client, they went straight to the police. If she had given them fake visas they wouldn’t have travelled in the first place,” he opined.

The Magistrate granted her bail in the sum of  N200,000 with two sureties.

—Damilare Okunola

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