Less than a week after the official release of this year’s results, some members of staff of the National Examinations Council (NECO) have been sentenced to 12yrs in prison each for forgery. The NECO staff are: Nehemiah Andrew, Umaru Aliyu and Christian Moses A.K.A Danjuma Musa. Six others were also sentenced alongside the NECO staff for the same offences, making nine of them.
Originally, ten people had been arraigned, however, one of the 10 arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court 11 Minna, one Hassan Ayuba had pleaded not guilty to the three count charges and was ordered to be remanded in prison custody for further hearing. But, the nine others, who pleaded guilty to the charges, were summarily sentenced.
According to Ahmed Danladi, the prosecutor of the case, who is also the principal state counsel in the state Ministry of justice, the culprits had been arraigned on a three count charge of forgery of NECO’s SSCE Certificate (over 730 Nos of the Council’s Certificate) and over 427 copies of NECO Examination slip printouts. Other documents forged include Niger State Certificate of indigeneship, statement result of the state’s college of education and other documents for the purpose of selling to various agents and buyers at prices ranging from N10,000, N25,000 and above.
The third count charge is for counterfeiting an official seal of NECO for the purpose of authenticating the forged documents. The offences are contrary to sections 364 and 367 of the penal code under section 79, and the prosecutor had prayed the court to sanction them accordingly since they have pleaded guilty to the charges. Chief magistrate, Hassan Mohammed therefore sentenced them to four years each on the three count charges and did not accede to their plea describing the offence as grievous and that the punishment will serve as a deterrent to others involved in the same illegal trade.