Two Nigerians; Ehikoya Israel Eigbibhahu and Achioneg Amos, living in the country illegally have been sentenced to a total of nine months in prison with hard labour for possessing Ghanaian passports by false declaration and forged academic degrees from the University of Cape Coast and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Ehikoya Israel Eigbibhahu was given three months while Achioneg Amos was sentenced to six months with additional 45 penalty units fine after they both pleaded guilty to the offence.
Moreover, nine other persons have also been prosecuted by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for various immigration related offences in the country for the first half of 2019; among which are three Ghanaians, one Cameroonian and Nigerian nationals.
The offences include illegal stay in the country, possessing and attempting to use forged documents, restricting and obstructing an Immigration Officer, and attempting to obtain Ghanaian passports by false declaration.
The convicted persons are Fortunatus Chibuike Opara, Patrick Obinna Ennu, Prince Boateng, Kwasi Buami and Akanmu Dayo Jegede. The rest are Simon Baziri, Victor Itobiye, Sonnia Ezeike and Ades Favour also known as Adesukan Michael Adeyemi.
Fortunatus Chibuike Opara, who attacked and obstructed an Immigration Officer in his line of duty at Kasoa in the Central Region, and for entering and staying in the country illegally was slapped with a fine of 450 penalty units on each count and was deported from the country after payment.
Patrick Obinna Ennu and Akanmu Dayo Jegede were given a sentence of six months in prison with hard labour for possessing a forged South African passport, as well as a forged Italian Residence Permit Card, respectively, and for attempting to use these documents to travel.
Prince Boateng, Kwasi Buami, Simon Baziri, Ades Favor and Sonnia Ezeike were sentenced to six months in prison each with hard labour and a total fine of 1,135 penalty units for obtaining travel documents by false declarations and for possessing and using them for various transactions.
These include obtaining a Hungarian Visa with fake birth certificate, acquiring Spanish Visa with fake Stanbic Bank Statement, travelling on forged Sierra Leonean Passport, obtaining a Ghanaian Passport with fake birth certificate and travelling on a forged Ghanaian Passport.
Victor Itobiye was sentenced to one month in prison with hard labour for attempting to acquire a Ghanaian Passport by false declaration.
The Ghana Immigration Service has, however, admonished all foreigners to desist from obtaining Ghanaian Passport, Birth Certificate and any other identity document of the country by false declaration as it is an offence and punishable by the laws of the country.
False declarations in the application and use of a passport occur when a passport applicant knowingly and willfully makes a false statement in a passport application with the intent to induce assurance of a passport.
GIS further urged all foreign nationals in the country to be law-abiding.