A student who was nabbed for duping several job seekers with fake promises of employment at the Rivers State University (RSU), Port Harcourt, has been disowned by the institution.
The student, identified as Philip Odereghi Oghoghonn, was arrested on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), where he was spotted by some of his victims.
According to a statement issued by the RSU Registrar, Dr. Enyindah Enyindahn, on Wednesday, Oghoghonn is an impostor who has no affiliation with the university.
The statement also warned the public to beware of impostors and fraudsters who claim to have connections with the university.
The RSU said it had completed its recruitment process last year with the approval of the Rivers State Government.
Oghoghonn was accused of collecting money ranging from 200,000 to 450,000 naira from desperate job seekers, promising them academic and non-academic positions at the RSU.
He also allegedly exploited some female victims sexually when they could not pay him in cash.
It was gathered that he had been evading his victims for months until he was caught and almost lynched by an angry mob before he was rescued by the UPTH security operatives and handed over to the police.
The arrest of Oghoghonn was facilitated by a human rights organization, Centre for Basic Rights Protection And Accountability Campaign, which had been tracking his activities since December last year.
The National Coordinator of the organization, Prince Wiro, a journalist and human rights advocate, said he had received several complaints from Oghoghonn’s victims and had been monitoring his movements.
Wiro said said he alerted the UPTH security when he saw Oghoghonn on Tuesday.
He also called on the RSU to clarify the claims by Oghoghonn that he was working with some powerful people in the university to offer jobs to people.
He therefore demanded that the matter should be thoroughly investigated and that Oghoghonn should be brought to justice if found guilty.
One of Oghoghonn’s victims, Otaviano Stephens, who spoke to journalists on behalf of others, said he paid 200,000 naira to Oghoghonn in March last year after he assured him that he worked directly with the RSU.
Stephens said he had been waiting for the job offer since then but Oghoghonn kept giving him excuses and false assurances.
Also, he said he wanted Oghoghonn to refund all the money he had collected from him and other victims.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the arrest of Oghoghonn and assured that investigations would commence immediately.