by Stanley Azuakola
The arm of the law caught up with nine persons including three National Examinations Council (NECO) staff, and they have now been sentenced to 12 years in prison, each, for forgery.
One other person, Hassan Ayuba, who pleaded not guilty to the three court charges was ordered to be remanded in prison custody for further hearing.
The ten accused were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court 11 Minna.
When the case came up, nine out of the ten accused persons pleaded guilty to the charges and were summarily sentenced.
Those sentenced are Kashim Danladi Tauhid, Ahmed Tijjani, Philip Emenike Ubanatu, Abdulsalam Mohammed Babangida, Ahmed Sanni while Nehemiah Andrew, Umaru Aliyu and Christian Moses A.K.A Danjuma Musa are NECO staff.
According to a report:
Prosecutor, Ahmed Danladi who is also the principal state counsel in the state Ministry of justice had arraigned the culprits on a three count charge of forgery of the Council’s SSCE Certificate, forged over 730 Nos of the Council’s Certificate, over 427 Nos of NECO Examination slip print out, Niger state Certificate of indigeneship, 5 Nos statement result of the state College of Education and other documents for the purpose of selling to various agents and buyers 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. 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.
The convicts had pleaded for the court to be lenient on them being a first offender, married with a lot of dependents on them.