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The vice chancellor and the acting registrar of the university said to be established and funded by the United Nations were arrested and have already been charged to court.
Education Tribune’s investigation revealed that millions of Naira is lost annually to the activities of criminal elements, who establish institutions to dupe unsuspecting members of the public. In some cases, fake certificates are awarded to their students on graduation, while in other cases, the students enter the institutions without definite date of graduation because the authorities would always tell them that they are expecting NUC’s approval before they could be graduated.
Only recently, NUC had blacklisted seven more of the illegal degree awarding institutions, bringing to a total of 42, illegal universities that have so far been blacklisted by the commission. All the Illegal institutions have also been closed down, according to the NUC, Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okogie.
The recently blacklisted universities are: Atlantic Intercontinental University, Okija, Anambra State, Open International University, Akure, Middle Belt University, North Central University, Otukpo, Leadway University, Ughelli, Delta State, Metro University, Dutse/Bwari, Abuja, Southend University, Ngwuro Egeru (Afam), Ndoki, Rivers State and Olympic University, Nsukka, Enugu State.
The Vice Chancellor of the illegal university, Mr. Barnabas Maichibi, and the acting registrar, Mr. Assaassuen Joseph who were arrested and arraigned last week are being remanded in police custody and are due to appear in Court on 27th of this month, which is the adjourned date.
Chairman of NUC Committee on Illegal Universities, Prof. Ebenezer Adebisi Adebowale, briefing newsmen on the development in Abuja, said the task force went on the raid based on a tip off and that the university was already selling forms for November admissions.
Accordingly, he said the school had been shut down with immediate effect, saying the operators of illegal institutions were thriving on the desperation of some Nigerians to acquire certificates, warning that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is the only legal body to conduct matriculation examinations into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Curiously, during the raid, the Task Force got the list of alleged members of the board of trustees of the university, among who are top and prominent politicians in Nigeria, though the university is said to be established and funded by the United Nations.
Adebowale said the raid was done at the temporary site of the university at Baptist High School, Akwanga.
The accused persons allegedly forged the NUC temporary approval form, with insignia of the commission, giving indications that the NUC gave provisional approval for the operation of the university on 4th May, 2010.
The university, in the form, claimed that, the sum of N750, 000 Unity Bank’s bank draft was made to the commission for Registration forms, while the sum of N450,000 was also paid in favour of the commision for procession fee. But Prof. Adebowale, confirmed that the form was forged and that from investigation, the syndicate that helped them to forge the document was said to own a printing press in Makurdi, Benue State.
He said: “When we took on the acting registrar, Mr. Assaassuen Joseph and asked him, as an acting registrar, you are offered a salary of N80, 000, is that not suspicious? He said job was scarce in the country”.
“When we asked him to state his duties, he said his duties included making appointments of both senior and junior workers and out of that, he had appointed an acting bursar on the salary of N60, 000.
“At that point we went back to the supposed vice chancellor, only to find out that he was able to convince the police and the general public that they had a temporary approval from the NUC with a payment of supposed N750, 000 bank draft for registration and N450, 000 bank draft for procession fee and at that point, we asked security operatives to pick them up and yesterday, we were in Court and the case has been adjourned till July, 27”.
The NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okogie has consistently warned the general public, parents and prospective undergraduates to be wary of the ‘Degree Mills’, saying they have “not been licensed by the Federal Government and are , therefore are operating illegally”.
He added anybody who patronises the schools, does so at hisown risk, saying certificates obtained from the illegal institutions will not be recognised for the purpose of NYSC, employment, and further studies.Share