Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Nigeria: EFCC Prosecutes Proprietress Over N5 Million Exam Fee Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Maiduguri Zonal has secured the conviction and sentencing of Josephine Udeh before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri.

Udeh, who was the proprietress of Dala Standard Secondary School, Maiduguri, is alleged to have fraudulently collected over N5 million from 284 students of the school as WAEC registration fees.

She was first arraigned on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 on a one-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N5, 059,000. She pleaded “not guilty”.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution presented ten witnesses and tendered ten exhibits and closed its case, which made Udeh to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the EFCC.

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At the resumed hearing , yesterdaym prosecution counsel Benjamin Manji prayed the court to substitute an earlier charge filed on the 9th April 2019 with an amended charge filed on 31st July, 2019.

The amended count reads: “That you, Josephine Udeh being the Director of Dala Standard Secondary School, Maiduguri, sometime between 2017 and 2018 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, did dishonestly misappropriates the sum of N5,059,000 (Five Million and Fifty-Nine Thousand Naira) only monies meant for 2017/2018 WAEC registration Fees for 284 students of the said Dala Standard Secondary School, Maiduguri and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law cap 102 Laws of Borno State of Nigeria and Punishable under Section 309 of the same Law”.

After the charge was read she “pleaded guilty” to the one count amended charge.

Manji prayed the court to convict her as charged.

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Thereafter, Justice Kumaliya found her guilty and convicted her as charged accordingly.

Counsel for the defence B.G Sanda prayed for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy as she has restituted all the outstanding balance.

Justice Kumaliya sentenced her with an option of fine in the sum of N150, 000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) in default to spend one year in prison custody.

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