Gambian Footballer Arrested In Kenya By Immigrations.

Footballer from Gambia arrested in Kenya
Matarr Nyan, on the night of his second-half debut for the senior Scorpions against Tanzania

According to the Nairobian newspaper in Kenya, Kenyan immigration officials have arrested Matarr Nyan, a Gambian player, for being in possession of a passport with a fake work permit stamp. The Nairobian newspaper quoted a senior officials at the immigration department, who said “Nyan could not explain how he got the fake stamp in his passport”. The official explained that the explanation immigration got was that the club had paid a broker to help the player get the work permit. But the broker reportedly affixed a strange stamp in the player’s passport,” said Mwashighadi, an immigration officer who was dealing with the case.

Nyan had apparently stayed in Kenya for over six months and was only discovered to be holding a fake permit on his return from international duty. The defensive midfielder had left Nairobi to play for his country in the 2017 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier match against Senegal in Dakar.Stanley King’ahi, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya explained that he was called late in the evening by Nyan’s relative asking him to help their son. King’ahi who would later represent Nyan in court, said “I got a call from one of my Gambian friends who explained the case to me,” said King’ahi.

Mwashigadi, the immigration officer, explained that since forgery is a serious crime in Kenya, Nyan had to be immediately taken to court where he was subsequently charged and fined Sh60,000 and then deported back to Gambia. “The process of acquiring a work permit takes about two months, and once a foreigner applies, the due process simply takes course. However, Nyan and Tusker reportedly did not follow any of the laid down procedures, and were duped by someone who got them a ‘River Road’ stamp,” said Mwashigadi.

The Nairobian can independently report that senior officials at Tusker paid Robinson Ofuokwo Sh400,000 in cash, being payment for the processing of work permit for two players: Stephen Owusu and Matarr Nyan. Obiny, Tusker FC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while commenting on the matter denied any wrong doing, saying that it was the player’s club, Real de Banjul Football Club, that gave them (Tusker) the go-ahead to conduct all the player’s transactions with Ofuokwo. “I know that work permits take long to process, but the player came with his agent who wanted him to play in good time,” said Obiny.

This was not our own doing since it was Nyan’s agent who asked that he be allowed to get him a work permit, but we were later shocked to learn that the player had been arrested. The player too did not know that he was carrying fake documents. In fact, he only raised the red flag after being arrested at the airport,” explained Obiny. Documents obtained by The Nairobian reveal that Tusker’s team manager, Leonard Odipo, signed off the said amount in a February 20, 2015 agreement with Ofuokwo. Odipo who was acting on behalf of the team recalled that back then, he was only working to beat the Kenyan Premier League’s (KPL) player registration deadline. “This Ofuokwo man messed us up big time and we have since communicated the same to Real de Banjul,” said Odipo. “We had planned to use the player in the second leg of the season, but with the court case and Nyan’s deportation, we failed to beat the deadline. The transfer window was already closed by the time he returned,” added Odipo. But in a clear contrast, Ofuokwo has distanced himself from the forgery claims saying that Tusker officials made the mistake. “Agents do not get work permits, since when did you hear of that? Am I an immigration officer?” posed Ofuokwo. Whereas Ofuokwo admits that he is the one who single-handedly brought Nyan to Kenya and recommended him to Tusker, the former City Stars tactician said that he had nothing to do with the forged work permit and the player’s subsequent arrest. “This was an inside job at Tusker, not my own making.

The law stipulates that it is the club to provide an introduction letter from either KPL or Football Kenya Federation to the immigration department and that is when work permits are processed. Tusker is not being sincere here and you know very well that I am not a Kenyan immigration official, I only helped them get the player. This is not the time for accusations since the player’s file is still open at the immigration department,” insisted a soft-spoken Ofuokwo. But Odipo maintains that Ofuokwo has since developed odd tendencies of a not picking calls, that he neither communicates with the club ever since the forgery revelations came to light.

The Nairobian visited Nyan in his uncle’s home in Westlands, Nairobi, the player looked disturbed and extremely worried. “That Nigerian who was my club’s agent got me a fake work permit and landed me into a lot of trouble,” said Nyan who did not want to be drawn into wrangle. Nyan said that he has since gotten a new passport and has been attending all training sessions at Ruaraka. “I only want to play football and I hope that soon, I will play for Tusker once I have been cleared by the immigration authorities,” added Nyan.

It should be recalled that Matarr Nyan rejoined Real de Banjul in December 2014, on a free transfer from Gamtel where he’s been captain for several seasons. Nyan has won the Gambian FA Cup title with Gamtel for four consecutive years in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well participation in the CAF Confederation and Wafu Cups. But, a month after signing a two-year deal with Real de Banjul, the club announced it has agreed to a deal with the Kenyan premier league side Tusker Football Club for the transfer of defender Matarr Nyan on an initial two-year loan.

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