Belfast Telegraph

Nigerian accused of identity fraud 'fled his country in fear of his life'

By Alan Erwin

A Nigerian man accused of identity fraud in a bid to stay in Northern Ireland fled his native country to avoid possible execution over his sexuality, the High Court heard.

Wasiu Adeleke was arrested in Belfast after spending four years at large and allegedly trying to gain bogus documentation, prosecutors said.

It was claimed he tried to pass himself off as a Greek national in a bid to get a UK driving licence.

The 47-year-old, with an address at University Street in Belfast, faces charges of fraud by false representation, attempted fraud, failing to observe immigration restrictions and possessing an identity improperly obtained.

Adeleke was first assessed as being in the UK illegally after being held by the PSNI in August 2011, the court heard. He was released on Secretary of State's bail in November that year.

Prosecution barrister Kate McKay said he then failed to comply with release conditions and was only re-arrested in December 2015. During that period he allegedly used false identity documents and worked for a cleaning firm in Belfast.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd said Adeleke had been living in Belfast, carrying out menial jobs to survive, since his asylum application was refused.

Mr Boyd said his client arrived in Dublin in 2010 and travelled to Northern Ireland a year later. The barrister said: "He left Nigeria because he is bisexual and that's apparently enough to have you killed in Nigeria, or seriously beaten by fanatics who take exception to something like that."

Refusing bail, His Honour Judge Lynch identified a risk of flight. He told defence counsel: "The fundamental problem here is your client removed himself from the system for an extended period of time in order to forge his life in this jurisdiction."

Belfast Telegraph


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