ICPC arraigns suspected syndicate leader of certificate forgers

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It was gathered that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) said yesterday, it has arraigned an alleged leader of certificate forgery syndicate.

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The accused, Owoyele Kolawole was arraigned before Justice S.A. Adepoju of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja for alleged forgery and possession of blank Senior School Certificates.

Spokesperson of the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in a statement that the commission had received a petition from the Federal Ministry of Education regarding growing cases, whereby candidates seeking admission into foreign institutions present altered West African Senior School Certificate results for accreditation and endorsement.

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“Discreet surveillance and intelligence gathering by ICPC led to the arrest of Mr. Kolawole. The suspect allegedly ran a syndicate that specialised in producing and selling customised certificates to fraudulent applicants seeking admission into foreign institutions,” Okoduwa said.

She further informed that the suspect was in possession of blank certificates at the time of his arrest, and was allegedly operating a criminal scheme, where the particulars from a genuine certificate would be transferred to a blank copy with alteration in either the grades or age or both, depending on what the ‘client’ desired.

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Kolawole was arraigned on a two-count charge for possessing false documents with intention to defraud in contravention of Section 363 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code CAP 532 Laws of the Federal Capital Territory.

Part of the charge read: “That you Owoyele Kolawole made false documents to wit: “West African Senior School Certificates” empty/blank, with no student information on it with the intention that it may be filled with student information later, which may be acted upon as genuine…”

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The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him but since the defence counsel was absent at the time the charge was read to the accused, Justice Adepoju ordered that the suspect be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to November 24, 2016 for definite hearing.

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