By Maxwell Nkansah
A 43-year-old Nigerian businessman who managed to obtain Ghana National Identification Card and Ghanaian Birth Certificate has appeared before a Kaneshie District Court.
Ernest Obi is said to have also attempted to obtain a Ghanaian Passport and remained in the country without a permit. Obi pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him. He claimed he has stayed in Ghana for 20 years and he is married to a Ghana hence his actions.
The charges are attempting to obtain Ghanaian passport by false declaration, obtaining for you a Ghanaian Birth Certificate and a Ghanaian National Identity Card and Remaining in Ghana without permit. The Court convicted Obi on his own plea and sentenced him to a fine of GH¢720 in default serve eight months imprisonment.
The Court asked Obi, who claimed to be married to Ghanaian, to go through the appropriate means to get a permit so he could reside peacefully. Prosecuting Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) Adolf Aboagye- Asenso told the Court that the accused was arrested at the Ridge Passport Application Centre (PAC), Accra while acquiring a Ghanaian Passport.
CSI Aboagye-Asenso said officials had doubts over the accused nationality hence he was referred to the National Enforcement Section of the Immigration headquarters for further investigations.
The Prosecution said the accused claimed to be a Ghanaian born in Accra to one Mr Rawlings Obi and Madam Hawa Kwahu, a Ghanaian mother from Agbozume in the Volta Region.
Accused however could not direct investigators to his mother. According to Prosecution, investigations revealed that the accused, a Nigerian, was born on October 20, 1978 at Ugwuoba Umuaro.
The accused attended Ugwuoba Boys JSS and completed it in the year 2000. Prosecution said the accused came to Ghana through Aflao border post in 2001 with his Nigerian Passport and he has since remained in the country.
Obi, prosecution said, was on Immigration Work/ Resident in the name one E. Nesto which expired in 2017. Prosecution said accused in his caution statement stated that he thought he qualified to obtain a Ghana Passport having lived in the country for about 20 years.
Prosecution said the accused indicated that because he had stayed in Ghana for long, he decided to obtain the Ghana Birth Certificate with the assistance of one Nana Yaw at a cost of GH¢100.00. Additionally, Obi said he also took advantage of the mass registration to obtain the Ghana Card.
Prosecution said the accused further indicated that he also engaged one Hajia Lami with GH¢800.00 to acquire a Ghanaian Passport. The Prosecutor opined that accused said it was Hajia Lami who bought the passport application, completed it and booked an appointment for him to appear at the Ridge Passport Office.
Prosecution said Obi was however arrested and in his caution statement he admitted the offense. Efforts to get Nana Yaw and Hajia Lami to assist in investigations had proved futile.