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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 30 October 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Indian man faces deportation over fake marriage

Ashok Kumar Sivaram Ashok Kumar Sivaram

It has emerged that the marriage between Ashok Kumar Sivaram, an Indian, and his Ghanaian wife, Gifty Abanka Abalisimi, is not legitimate to guarantee him a Ghanaian citizenship.

Following this revelation, Ashok is facing a possible repatriation as his residence permit is on the verge of being revoked.

A search conducted at the Marriage Registry of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) revealed that no marriage had been registered under the Marriage Act, 1884-1985 (CAP 127) in respect of Ashok Kumar Sivaram and Gifty Abanka Abalisimi.

Speculations are rife that Ashok contracted the ‘fake marriage’ in order to acquire Ghanaian citizenship as his previous marriage to an Indian woman, Seema Madhavan Nair, back in 1987 in India was not disclosed at the time of contracting the marriage in Kumasi in December 2012.

A letter from the Registrar of Marriages and Divorce Registry said certificate number KMA/1299/12 as contained in the couple’s marriage certificate was procured outside the registry.

According to the registrar, the development suggests that Mr and Mrs Sivaram’s marriage certificate is unauthentic, and might have been procured outside the genuine processes required by law.

Mr Kumar Sivaram had applied to be granted citizenship status as a Ghanaian to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) after he submitted the said marriage certificate between him and Gifty Abanka Abalisimi.

Due diligence conducted by officials of GIS has exposed the Indian as an unqualified person to be accorded that status.

It is not clear whether the advice given him by the registrar of marriages and divorce had been taken.

The Ghana Immigration Service, in a letter on its findings, revealed that the applicant had presented a fake marriage certificate to advance his request for Ghana’s citizenship.

It said, “The Registrar of Marriages and Divorce at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) in a letter dated 30 September, 2015 refuted the genuineness of the said certificate and stated categorically that it did not emanate from his office.”

According to the letter, Ashok, upon invitation to the office on October 8 this year in the presence of his lawyer, Gary Nimako Marfo, insisted that the certificate was genuine until a copy of the said letter from the registry was presented to them for examination, leading to the admission that the certificate was fake.

Nimako Marfo, the report disclosed, accepted the challenge and pleaded to conduct their independent investigation into the matter and that on October 12, Ashok and the said lawyer reported to the office confirming that the certificate was fake.

The lawyer explained that his client was unaware that he had been given a fake certificate because it was issued to him and his wife at the KMA premises.

When Mr Nimako Marfo was contacted, he questioned the rationale in writing the story. “What is public interest in this story?” he queried when DAILY GUIDE contacted him after Ashok had referred the paper to him.

Ashok had wondered how DAILY GUIDE got the story, saying that he wanted to have a one-on-one interview, but rather referred the paper to his lawyer.

The Immigration Service letter further disclosed that there were no indications that an earlier marriage contracted between Ashok and Seema Madhavan Nair in India had been dissolved.

“The investigation team, through intelligence, had a marriage document which shows that subject was earlier married to Seema Madhavan Nair in India in1987…however, when applicant was filling the application form, he did not mention that he ever married,” the letter averred.

It said Ashok again did not state in the vetting form that he had any children, but when questioned as to whether he had any children, he responded in the affirmative, saying he had two children from his previous relationship, although he was not married.

As a result, the GIS, stressing that the applicant presented a fake certificate and lied on oath, recommended the immediate repatriation of Ashok.

“It’s our humble recommendation that based on the key findings, applicant’s residence permit be revoked in accordance with Section 20 (2) (a) of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573) and be repatriated immediately in accordance with Section 20 (3) (a) of the same Act,” it said.

Curiously, since the GIS findings, Ashok is still hopping about carrying out his dealings.

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