Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike
Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has said the Federal Ministry of Education has set in motion a process to ensure the arrest of syndicates forging the certificates of the National Examination Council (NECO).
The minister spoke Wednesday against the background of the busting of a syndicate that specialises in the forging of NECO certificates in the country.
Wike stated that the ministry has established a relationship with relevant security agencies to ensure that those who have developed a structure to fake NECO certificates are tracked down and made to face the law.
He said: “The arrest of a syndicate that specialise in the forgery of NECO certificates by the State Security Service (SSS), one of our security partners, is an indication that the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that the integrity of our public examinations is guaranteed and protected.
“We are happy that the SSS has used its extensive capacity to track down these suspects, among who are three NECO members of staff who work in the Computer department. These arrests bring to the fore the real reason behind the protests by some NECO staff that resisted legitimate transfers from their comfort zones,” Wike said.
The SSS in Niger State office after series of operations, tracked down a 10-man syndicate led by one Kashim Danladi Tahid.
The syndicate comprises three members of staff of NECO who supplied the membership of the syndicate with past candidates’ numbers, corresponding names and data base to forge the results.
NECO Registrar, Professor Promise Okpala, expressed satisfaction that the members of the syndicate have been arrested.
He, however, pointed out that the extensive security features on the NECO certificate make it difficult for the certificate to be successfully forged.
He said NECO would continue to cooperate with the Federal Ministry of Education and the security agencies to frustrate criminals in the system.
Parading the suspects in Minna, the state Director of the SSS, Dr. Larry Obiagwu, who confirmed the arrest of the 10-man syndicate, stated that members of the syndicate after incontrovertible evidence admitted to committing the crime.
Obiagwu noted that during the raids that led to the arrests of the suspects, the SSS recovered computers containing NECO data-base, fake NECO seals, fake NECO blank certificate slips, phones containing text messages requesting certificates and grades.
In an interview, leader of the syndicate, Tahid stated that with the overwhelming evidence against the syndicate, there was no need denying the allegation.
Tahid stated that he connived with the three NECO staff to produce the fake NECO certificates.
He confessed that each forged certificate is sold for N10, 000, which was shared across the board by members.