By Emmanuel Ugwu
A syndicate which specialises in issuing fake certificates of all types and recruiting fake teachers under the Federal Teachers’ Scheme of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has been nabbed by the Abia State command of the State Security Service (SSS) after swooping on the operational base of the fraudsters at the commercial city of Aba.
Director of SSS, Abia State Command, Mr. Matthew Obodechi made this known while briefing journalists on the discovery, saying that over 300 forged certificates were recovered from the suspects. No fewer than 250 persons had already fallen victims before the bubble burst for the fraudsters.
He said that the operatives of the SSS had swung into action following the report on the activities of the fraudsters posing as officials of the UBEC attached to the Federal Teachers Scheme and between April 25 and 27, 2013 the suspects were rounded up. The ring leader of the syndicate identified as Sunday Ehiemere, 40, was picked up along with three collaborators including Onyedi Isaac, Promise E. Enang and a female suspect, Glory Okoro, who was arrested at their office located at Teachers Plaza on pounds road, Aba.
The SSS Director said that the certificate forgery syndicate was so adept in its fraudulent activities that certificate forgery activities appeared as if the infamous Oluwole certificate forgery hub in Lagos has been relocated to Aba. He said that the victims paid between N20, 000 and N50, 000 for the tertiary education certificates while those desiring national Education Council (NECO) paid sundry fees totaling N20, 000.
“In the process of investigation several fake certificates of various higher institutions in South-eat and South-south zones were recovered from the suspect,” he said.