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UNIABUJA students face trial over certificate forgery

The University of Abuja has handed over four students of the university to the National Examinations Council for prosecution for allegedly forging NECO certificates.

The four suspects reportedly used the NECO results to gain admission into the university but were discovered when the council embarked on screening to the university.

The screening by NECO was said to be ongoing in some higher institutions in the country.

The students were arrested by the police over certificate forgery in October 2019 and taken to NECO Headquarters, Minna, Niger State, for questioning.

According to NECO on Monday, the students are Effiong Etim, Solomon Victor, Abdulkabir Mohammad and Yakubu Adama.

An official of the university had also reportedly laid a complaint to the Police Zone 7 headquarters for investigation of the students.

Our correspondent learnt that the students would be arraigned by the police at a Federal Capital Territory Magistrate Court in Wuse 2, Abuja.

The police prosecutor, Chijioke Chigozie, said about nine students of the university had so far been arrested for similar offence.

He, however, added that they were still under investigation.

A charge sheet sighted on Monday showed that the certificate forgery contravened Section 364 of the penal code.

It read, “That you, Effiong Etim, with June 2017 NECO, Solomon Victor with June 2017 NECO, Abdulkabir Mohammad with June 2012 NECO and Yakubu Adama with June 2016 NECO; that these certificates upon which you gained admission or sought admission into the University of Abuja are forged certificates. You are thereby suspected to have committed the above offence.”

The examination body said that the move was to overhaul its certificate issuance in order to ensure that only credible certificates are issued to the public.

“This is to send a strong message to students out there using fake NECO certificates,” an official of the council said.

The case has yet to be assigned to a judge at the court.