A Nigerian bigamist and sham marriage fixer from East London has been jailed for 3 years by a United Kingdom court.
Also, his wife Julie Odigie, a 34-year-old Nigerian was sentenced to 12 months after pleading guilty to charges of obtaining leave by deception and pecuniary advantage by deception.
According to the charge sheet obtained by our Correspondent, Glory Odigie, a 38-year-old Nigerian, married 2 Dutch women using different identities to help him obtain residency in the UK.
Odigie was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court during the week after pleading guilty to conspiracy to facilitate a non European Union person into the United Kingdom at a previous hearing.
The accused also pleaded guilty to charges of bigamy, fraud, pecuniary advantage by deception and obtaining leave to remain by deception at the same court on 1 June.
The charge sheet stated that Mrs Julie Odigie who was sentenced alongside her husband who was the prime suspect, used the identity of one of Glory’s wives to live and work in the UK until Glory assisted her with arranging a marriage to a Dutch national so she could live in the UK under her real name.
The couple were arrested by the UK Border Agency’s South London criminal and financial investigation team at their home address in Park Grove, Newham, on 22 March 2012.
Investigations revealed that a number of flights to and from The Netherlands had been booked using Glory Odigie’s details.
The flights were arranged for 6 Dutch nationals to visit the UK for short periods. While being here they applied for documents and National Insurance numbers, after which they ‘married’ West Africans. This enabled the West Africans to apply for European Economic Area (EEA) residency status as spouses of EEA nationals.
While commenting on the case, Rachel Bennett, from the UK Border Agency, said: ‘I hope the sentences handed to Glory and Julie Odijie send out a message that we will not tolerate abuse of our immigration system.
‘Those who facilitate sham marriages are breaking the law and will be held accountable for their actions.The UK Border Agency is cracking down on sham marriages and those who seek to cheat immigration laws face prosecution and conviction.’
Glory Odigie was charged with one count of conspiracy to facilitate, one count of bigamy, one count of fraud, one count of pecuniary advantage by deception and one count of obtaining leave to remain by deception.
Julie Odigie was charged with obtaining leave by deception and pecuniary advantage by deception.