Crime

EFCC Arraigns NECO Top Official Over N4m Exam Fee Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned an Assistant Director with the National Examination Council (NECO), Muhammadu Umar, before Justice M. T. Salihu of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, on three counts of fraud to the tune of N4m.

According to a statement by the EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, Umar approached the proprietor of Success Private School claiming that he had the instruction of his employer (NECO) to collect NECO Senior School Certificate Examination registration fees of students in the school.

Convinced by the claims, the proprietor of the school gave the money to Umar but the money was not remitted to NECO and many students of the school were unable to sit for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.

One of the charges reads, “That you, Muhammadu Umaru, between January 2015 and February, 2016 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, induced one Pastor Kofi Gyimah, the Proprietor of Success Private Schools, Maiduguri, to deliver to you the sum of N3.7m only via your Zenith Bank (personal) Current Account No. 1002064892 under the false pretence that you were authorised to receive same for and on behalf of NECO being payments for June/July 2015 SSCE registration fees and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 1(1)(b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 respectively.”

The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge which prompted the counsel for the EFCC, Haruna Abdulkadir, to ask the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the accused person in prison custody which the defendant’s counsel, B. K. Alhaji, through an oral application, objected and prayed the court to admit his client to bail.

Justice Salihu ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of the bail application on July 6, 2017.

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