Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Miami: Nigerian, Celestine Ifeanacho Okafor, 45, of Orlando, Florida, convicted in 1997 scam deported over citizenship form

Posted by on 2005/04/21 | Views: 543 |

Miami: Nigerian, Celestine Ifeanacho Okafor, 45, of Orlando, Florida, convicted in 1997 scam deported over citizenship form


Nigerian man, imprisoned in 1997 for an insurance scam, was deported as a criminal alien because he had only signed a citizenship oath, rather than making it in a public forum or in a court, officials said Monday.

Nigerian man, imprisoned in 1997 for an insurance scam, was deported as a criminal alien because he had only signed a citizenship oath, rather than making it in a public forum or in a court, officials said Monday.

Celestine Ifeanacho Okafor, 45, of Orlando was deported Friday after his appeals reached Attorney General John Ashcroft in December and were turned down, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said CE said in a statement.

Under U.S. law, felony criminal convictions make alien residents deportable.

In 1997 Okafor and 10 others pleaded guilty to running a scam that bilked insurance companies out of more than $2 million. Okafor was sentenced to 5 1/4 years in prison and three years months probation for mail and wire fraud and money laundering. He was released in February 2000.


In March 2000 a judge ordered Okafor deported as a criminal alien. He appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which decided that he had completed his naturalization process. Immigration officials asked for the Attorney General's opinion, and Ashcroft overruled the decision, the statement said.


"The Attorney General had to make the final call about whether or not the oath of citizenship had to be taken in a public forum when you are capable of doing that," Manny Van Pelt, spokesman for ICE, said.


Okafor argued he should not be deported because he was a U.S. citizen even though he had only signed an oath. But he had not taken the oath at a public ceremony or before a court as is required except in instances of disability.


Okafor came to the U.S. in 1990. He married an American and became a legal resident in 1991. He applied for naturalization in 1994. One year later Okafor attended a citizenship interview and was recommended to be approved for citizenship. But he did not participate in a public oath ceremony and never got a certificate of naturalization.


Prabodh Chandubhai Patel, Okafor's attorney, did not immediately return telephone calls for comment.



2005 AP

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (1)

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.