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Insult!: Nigerian nurse recounts how Ghanaian airport officials stopped her from flying to Venezuela, tagging visa obtained in Abuja ‘fraudulent’

A Nigerian woman, Taiwo Awolafolajin has accused officials of the Ghana Immigration Service of preventing her from boarding a flight to Venezuela from Kotoka International Airport with Turkish Airlines “despite having a valid visa”

Taiwo, a nurse at the Lagos campus of the Nigerian Law School, told SaharaReporters that she spent roughly N4 million on her nursing council registration in Barbados and when it was time for her to appear in Venezuela in person after a proper invitation, she applied for a visa at the country’s embassy in Abuja.

“My visa application was granted on the 27th of March and I needed to board a flight to the country on the 29th of March. But because of the disparity in the prices of flight tickets between Nigeria and Ghana, I realised that boarding from Ghana was cheaper and this was why I decided to go there to board,” Taiwo told SaharaReporters.

She explained that a flight ticket from Nigeria to Venezuela via Turkish Airlines would cost her $2000 while the company charged around $1000 for the same destination in Ghana.

She continued: “It was when I was about to board that Turkish Airlines’ attendants insisted that my visa was fraudulently obtained and instead of Ghanian officials to investigate that claim, they also detained me and made me miss the flight.

“I told them I went to the embassy myself to collect the visa and not through any agent but all my explanations were to no avail. It was at that point they explained that the major reason I was stopped was because they wanted me to fly from Nigeria and not Ghana. I found that strange because of our closeness to Ghana.”

“The officials said they did not trust anything from Nigeria because most of the things obtained there always turn out to be fraudulent,” She added.

Taiwo’s documents obtained by SaharaReporters showed that she applied for the Venezuela visa in January and she was granted.

Corroborating his wife’s assertions, Taiwo’s husband, Boboye also added that she decided to travel out of Africa from Ghana because taking the route was way cheaper than going from Nigeria because of the naira devaluation.

He said, “My wife wanted to travel to Barbados through Venezuela on the 29th of March, 2024 from Kotoka International Airport via Turkish Airlines. We decided to book a flight from Ghana to Venezuela because it was cheaper compared to flying from Nigeria. Dollar-Naira value was not stable at the time.

“When she reached Accra airport, the Turkish Airlines staff during check-in accused her of having a fake Venezuela visa. She told them she went to the Venezuelan embassy in Abuja to process the visa herself. She was handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service. She was taken to a fraud laboratory for interrogation. She showed both Turkish Airlines and the Ghana Immigration Service the pictures she took in front of the Venezuelan embassy.

“They decided not to listen to her. According to her, they said she didn’t board in Nigeria because of the fake visa. She was prevented from boarding to Venezuela from Ghana. She told them to confirm the authenticity of the visa from the embassy of Venezuela in Abuja. She was going to complete her nursing council registration in Barbados. We need your assistance because my wife is not a fraudster.”

Sahara Reporters