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UBEC officials charged to court for visa scam

15 January 2014, 21:14

Abuja - The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on Wednesday arraigned two officials of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) before an FCT High Court over visa scam.

Beatrice Molokwu and Jasper Erekosima were arraigned on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy, issuing false document, forgery of statement of account, use of false Stamp.

The prosecutor,  Michael Adesola, told the court that in June 2013, the accused persons conspired and produced a fake UBEC document and presented same as genuine to the embassy of Belgium, with the intention to procure visa.

He said that the accused persons made a false statement of account number 0034172650 GTB bank, in favour of one Chikeruba Cyril with the intent that it will be used to process a visa for him.

The prosecution also said the accused persons made a false statement of account number 1324010101 of Unity Bank in favour of one Enemo Chukwuemeka with the intent that the said document would be used in issuing a visa.

Adesola told the court that the accused persons in June 2013 made a false stamp bearing Public Health Department, FCT with the intent that the stamp will be used as evidence of vaccination to the embassy.

The prosecutor said that the offences are contrary to the provisions of Section 97 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 364 of the law.

If convicted, they are liable to 14 years in prison or with an option to pay a fine or with both.

After the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.

Counsel to the accused persons, Oyikachi Ikpeazu (SAN), prayed the court to allow his clients continue with the administrative bail granted them by the ICPC.

In a ruling for bail application, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi,  ordered that the accused persons continue with their administrative bail.

Oniyangi adjourned case to March, 5 for beginning of trial.

-  NAN


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