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Five arrested for issuing fake COVID-19 certificate

Five persons have been paraded by the Nigeria Police Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos Command, for issuing fake COVID-19 certificate.

The arrested suspects have been identified as Achibong Idonrenyin, Moses Samuel, Popoola Adewala, Wale Aderele and Abdulmalik Ibrahim, and it was also learnt that two others identified as Shehu Imam and Adeola Dalington who work with Sky Blue Services limited, a cleaning service at the airport are at large. 

Mr. Bature Umar, the Commissioner, Airport Command told newsmen that the incident occurred on February 19, 2021 at the airport where a British Airways passenger, Michael Osagbogun was defrauded N50,000 for fake COVID-19 test.

The suspects had approached Osagbogun promising to produce a Covid-19 test positive certificate for him. Two of the suspects, Popoola Adewale and Adeola Dalington, who knew the airport environment well due to the nature of their jobs at the airport, allegedly took the victim to one of the toilet facilities at the airport where N50,000 was obtained from him under the pretext of producing a valid Covid-19 negative certificate for the victim.

Osagbogun was reportedly taken to DAT Cybercafe at No. 4, Oriyomi Street, Ikeja where a fake Covid-19 negative certificate was eventually procured for him. He was stopped from flying to London, United Kingdom after it was discovered that he has a fake COVID-19 certificate. 

The alarm he raised led to the arrest of four suspects and a guarantor to one of the two suspects at large.

Though the suspects claimed it was their first time of engaging in the criminal activity, Umar said investigation revealed the suspects had been in the crime for several months. The suspects would be paraded in the court of competent jurisdiction on Friday March 5. 

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