This Man Married His OWN Daughter So She Would Be Allowed to Stay in Britain–And the Home Office Knows About It
Sam Greenhill and Dennis Rice, Daily Mail (London), November 18, 2009
A Nigerian Home Office worker ‘married’ his own daughter to get her a British visa, the Daily Mail can reveal.
The extraordinary scam was apparently executed by Jelili Adesanya while ministers turned a blind eye.
Mr Adesanya, 54, has lived here for more than 30 years and holds a British passport, but wanted his daughter, her husband and their four sons to join him from Nigeria.
He faked a wedding ceremony complete with a photograph of the happy ‘couple’ which helped fool immigration officials that his daughter, Karimotu Adenike, was really his wife.
Miss Adenike, who is in her mid-30s, was duly granted permission to live in the UK.
The pair are waiting for her to be granted a permanent right to remain before they undergo a quiet divorce and attempt to bring the rest of her family here.
It is expected she would try to remarry her real husband to get them all visas.
But despite being tipped off two years ago, the Home Office seems to have done nothing to stop the scam by one of their own workers.
Until recently, Mr Adesanya was employed as an occupational health nurse for the Home Office, working with immigration officials at Gatwick airport.
A whistleblower sent letters to the High Commission in Lagos and the UK Border Agency including specific details such as names, addresses, passport numbers and even a copy of the wedding photograph.
When there was no response, he sent emails to then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and ministers Vernon Coaker and Phil Woolas on February 1 this year. He heard nothing.
Mr Adesanya, who came to Britain in 1976, flew back to Nigeria on May 29, 2007, and held the bogus wedding ceremony a few days later at a register office in Ikorodu, Lagos.
A source said: ‘They paid people to attend the wedding so that the British High Commission in Lagos would believe it was genuine. The commission then gave Karimotu Adenike a two-year settlement visa in October 2007.
‘On her settlement visa application form, of course, she did not mention that she already had a husband and four children.
‘The date of birth on her Nigerian passport is not her real date of birth.’
Miss Adenike is believed to have aged herself by ten years on her wedding certificate to disguise the age gap with her father.
Although her settlement visa expired last month, she is hoping to be given the right to remain.
David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate and Shadow Justice Minister, was also tipped off by the whistleblower and wrote to the Home Office.
This time there was a reply, but it said that although the matter was ‘under investigation’, no further information would be provided because it could ‘breach of our obligations under the Data Protection Act’.
Mr Burrowes told the Mail: ‘I am very surprised and concerned that no action appears to have been taken, because the allegations are extremely serious.’
Mr Adesanya, who lives with his daughter in Dagenham, Essex, vehemently denied the plot and said he had never been questioned about the allegations.
He said: ‘Married my own daughter? I have never heard anything like this in my life. I deny it. She is my wife, not my daughter.’
However, asked to confirm his ‘wife’s’ date of birth, he said he did not know without checking her passport, and refused to allow her to speak for herself.
Unbeknown to him, his daughter had confirmed the arrangement when she told a friend she would shortly apply for her own British passport and ‘divorce daddy’.
Last night Jonathan Sedgwick, from the UK Border Agency, said: ‘These individuals are already under investigation, and I want to make it clear that abuse of our immigration laws will not be tolerated.
‘If we identify marriages which we believe are not genuine, we will challenge them and prosecute where appropriate.
‘We are determined to send home any foreign nationals convicted of these types of crimes once they have served their sentences.’