Officials of the Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, better known as task force, have arrested traders of fake affidavits following a report detailing their activities. TheCable understands that the task force officials carried out the raid on December 23 in the environs of the Lagos state high court, Ikeja division. Over the years, residents of the state have fallen prey to agents/traders who loiter around court premises advertising falsified affidavits and other court documents. To expose the black market for judiciary documents, TheCable visited some court premises in the state between March and April 2022. In the report, TheCable detailed how the affidavit traders had perfected the falsification of government seals, thereby defrauding residents and denying the government of much-needed revenue. The report exposed how the traders issue government seals and stamps from internet cafes — and how touts produce and sell affidavits bereft of seals. One of the affidavit traders, identified as Dada, was said to have been arrested during the recent raid. Dada had asked TheCable’s reporter to call on him if he needs any court documents on land, marriage and divorce. A top official at the Lagos judiciary informed TheCable that “total war” has been declared against persons falsifying court documents in the state. Under the Criminal Law of Lagos state, forgers of government seals are liable to seven-year imprisonment. Section 365 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos state that: “If the thing forged purports to be, or is intended by the offender to be understood to be or to be used as any of the following things — (t) the seal of a Court of record in Nigeria or any other country or the seal used at the Chambers of the Head of a Court or for stamping or sealing summons or orders; the offender commits a felony and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven (7) years.” It is understood that the raid of court premises in the state will be a continuous exercise in a bid to curb the proliferation of falsified affidavits.

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