He used an alias to get asylum in Canada 30 years in the past and allegedly cheated the welfare system and dedicated fraud through the use of as many as 16 different names earlier than exhausting all appeals and being deported in 2012.
Officers say they nonetheless don’t know who he’s — however they know the place he’s.
In February, Chris Osho Oko-Oboh — a.okay.a. Andrew Ighiehon, James Aigbe, Friday Adun, Okojie Lugard and Marek Orszula amongst others — whose true identification continues to be unknown, in line with courtroom, returned to Canada from Nigeria with a “modified” journey doc and made yet one more asylum declare. It was his fifth over the previous three a long time.
This time, the person, believed to be 63 now, was instantly nabbed by border-enforcement brokers upon arrival in Montreal by way of fingerprint matching. He has remained in detention, although not with out drama.
In March, a tribunal ordered his launch however he was despatched again into custody after the Canada Border Companies Company appealed to the Federal Court docket, based mostly on his unconfirmed identification and the concern that he won’t reappear for his elimination.
In quashing the tribunal determination to launch him, Justice B. Richard Bell made an uncommon transfer to order Oko-Oboh to pay $3,000 to cowl the prices of the federal government within the proceedings, saying his conduct “vastly undermines” the integrity of Canada’s immigration, regulation enforcement, social welfare and judicial techniques.
“The respondent has proven a blatant disrespect and disrespect for Canadian regulation. It’s obvious the criminal-law procedures have been unsuccessful in deterring the respondent’s illegal conduct. … There may be an evident want to discourage the respondent’s illegal conduct in relation to immigration issues,” Bell wrote in a ruling final month.
“Canadian taxpayers ought to anticipate Canada to take all steps essential to discourage those that would tarnish its beneficiant immigration system. Canadian taxpayers ought to anticipate Canada to take all means essential to recoup a portion of the prices it incurs in relation to its participation in courtroom proceedings.”
Though refugees usually depend on fraudulent journey paperwork for his or her escapes and plenty of do spend years right here as their instances wind by way of the arduous asylum system and myriad attraction mechanisms, few would have amassed such a protracted historical past with Canadian immigration and regulation enforcement, or have raised such ire in a judicial ruling.
In response to the Federal Court docket, Oko-Oboh first arrived in Canada on March 12, 1991, by way of the US below the identify of Andrew Ighiehon, and he was convicted of fraud over $1,000 in Toronto lower than 4 months later. In February 1992, he made a refugee declare below that identify and was granted asylum in a month.
He was once more convicted of fraud in 1993 and a deportation order was issued in opposition to him in 1997 based mostly on “severe criminality,” stated the courtroom.
Whereas he was preventing the revocation of his refugee safety standing and subsequent elimination, his rap sheet simply bought longer: tried fraud, personation, uttering solid paperwork, false pretences, possession of bank card, counterfeit mark, mischief and assault. He was deported with the escort of border brokers to Nigeria in February 2012.
“Throughout his 21-year tenure in Canada, the respondent dedicated a number of crimes, for which he was convicted. The respondent’s refugee standing was revoked in 2007. He was deported in 2012,” the courtroom stated.
“In February 2022, the respondent returned to Canada utilizing a fraudulent journey doc. He alleged, with none proof, that Canadian officers working on the Canadian Embassy in Ghana perpetrated the fraud.”
Throughout one of many detention evaluations since returning to Canada, Oko-Oboh revealed he was as soon as within the navy in Nigeria and has 5 kids, together with three in Canada.
He additionally defined to the tribunal that his fraud fees stemmed from the “Cash Mart” enterprise he opened in 1998. He claimed folks would are available with pretend cheques and police would come and examine however ended up charging him once they couldn’t discover the precise culprits.
“He ended up all the time pleading responsible as a result of he ended up taking the blame,” in line with the tribunal in a listening to transcript.
Oko-Oboh’s son in Oakville, who works at a Dollarama, supplied to place up a $3,000 bond for the person’s launch and to oversee him together with an older lady all of them name “grandma.”
“If I’m launched at this time, I can’t disappoint you, the decide, the lawyer, the immigration officer, even God, and even myself. And I’ll hearken to every part that I can be instructed to do, and I’ll do it,” he pleaded with the tribunal at a listening to on Feb. 18.
In a listening to in March, the adjudicator presiding over his case ordered him launched partly as a result of concern over the time it beforehand took — 15 years — for the border company to take away Oko-Oboh following the issuance of his first deportation order in 1997.
The company then challenged the discharge in courtroom.
“Given the assorted identities of the respondent that I’ve already talked about and what follows, I fail to notice how the (Public Security) Minister could be accountable for any of the 15 years essential to course of the elimination,” chided Justice Bell in sending Oko-Oboh again to detention.
“The respondent, who most not too long ago entered Canada with a counterfeit journey doc, was ready to allege that Canadian officers working on the Canadian embassy in Ghana dedicated the fraud. Asserting such fraud on the a part of Canadian officers with none proof speaks volumes to the trustworthiness of the respondent and his willingness to abide by any orders.”
In the meantime, over the previous few months, border officers have been attempting to verify Oko-Oboh’s actual identification with assist from Nigerian officers in Ottawa.
In Might, a longtime good friend of Oko-Oboh in Brampton, who works in actual property, additionally vowed to place down a $10,000 bond for the person’s launch.
“Osho is an effective individual. He had that lengthy darkish stretch that’s even troublesome for me to clarify even to members or folks from again dwelling in the event that they had been to ask me,” Gordon Isioroaji testified earlier than adjudicator Sophie Froment-Gateau.
“I imagine that he’s a modified man from that time period. So, I might plead … that you just give him that probability.”
Oko-Oboh’s lawyer, Idorenyin E. Amana, stated detention ought to solely be used as “an exception” and the tribunal should discover different options and think about his launch below supervision.
“The gentleman in entrance of this tribunal has been recognized to the Canadian authority since 1991. His fingerprints and his biometrics, his blood group, every part about his distinctive, inalienable identification is within the Canadian database,” stated Amana.
“I respect that the identify or the date of delivery is a matter. To say that Mr. Oko-Oboh or the person just isn’t recognized in any respect just isn’t totally right.”
Border officers have already deemed Oko-Oboh protected to return to Nigeria, a choice that’s presently being challenged in courtroom.
Froment-Gateau stated she was not happy with both Oko-Oboh’s good friend or “alleged son” being his bond individual, elevating considerations over their capability to make sure he complies with the discharge circumstances
“I perceive that you’re being disadvantaged of your liberty, and that each day in detention should really feel like a protracted one for you,” the adjudicator stated in her determination in Might to maintain the person detained.
“Nevertheless, from a authorized perspective, it isn’t thought of but as a protracted detention.”