- As prosecution of alleged fraudster gets underway
By Chika Abanobi
Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has reiterated its commitment to protect the sanctity and dignity of its exams by ensuring that all those who were caught either perpetrating fraud or “aiding and abetting” it were brought to book, at all costs.
The Head of Press and Public Relations of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said this at Igbosere Magistrate Court on Thursday, after observing court proceedings held in continuation of the prosecution of 37-year-old cybercafé operator, Emeka Anugwo, who was arrested in May for allegedly defrauding innocent UTME candidates.
Anugwo, owner of a CBT centre located on 7, Ojora Road, Ikoyi, beside JAMB’s Lagos office, was on May 5 brought before the court on a two-count charge of fraud and impersonation. He pleaded not guilty and was granted N100, 000 bail by Magistrate O. G. Oghre. He was also asked to produce two sureties in like sum who must be resident in Lagos State and must show evidence of two years tax payment.
The Prosecutor, Inspector Okete Ejime, had told the court that the accused committed the alleged offences between May 1 and 30, adding that he had deceived and cheated about 70 UTME candidates by collecting between N3,000 and N3,500 from each of them for various services including changing ages, courses, institutions and generation of remitter code.
Ejime added that Anugwuo collected the money while impersonating JAMB officials, noting that the offences contravened Sections 323 and 376(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015. The case was, on being charged to court, on May 5, however, adjourned till June 22.
Representing JAMB in court on Thursday was the trio of Mr. Felix Ibeku, an Assistant Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Akin Omiyera, a Senior Executive Officer, and Mr. Ezekiel Adewunmi, who represented the JAMB Coordinator in Lagos, Mr. Sunday Aladegbaye.
But when the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, June 22, 2017, the Magistrate said she would prefer to have Aladegbaye and his subordinate, Mr. Badaru Jubril, who had reported the case to the police leading to Anugwo’s arrest. She, therefore, adjourned the matter till July 27.
Speaking on the trial, Dr. Benjamin expressed regret that Nigerians could go to any length to make money, saying the new leadership in JAMB will leave no stone unturned to rid the system of corrupt persons.
“We are committed to restore the dignity of JAMB and its examinations, and this trial is only to prove to others that we are not joking about this at all,” he said. “Recently, people were asking us that those CBT centres that were suspended for irregularities what did we do to them? This is to tell them that this is what we will do. Many will go to jail I am sure.”