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CBT centre operator risks two-year jail term after defrauding JAMB

CBT centre operator risks two-year jail term after defrauding JAMB
February 11
14:46 2024

A grade-one area court sitting at Aco Estate in Abuja has convicted a CBT centre owner of registration fraud.

Every year, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) partners with privately owned CBT centres.

They are screened to administer registration procedures and host the board’s Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME).

Ezechinoso Augustine, an Onitsha-based operator of one such CBT centre, was made to appear before the court in Abuja for an alleged breach of trust.

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The accused was charged with criminal breach of trust, concealment, registration infraction (cheating), and theft.

Fabian Benjamin, in a statement to TheCable on Sunday, said the case came up for hearing on February 6, 2024.

Augustine was said to have collected sensitive registration material from the Anambra state office of JAMB to kick-start the process of UTME registration.

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The operator then “concealed” it to “defraud” the board and acquire another to complete activities that JAMB described as fraudulent.

“You alleged also that the material you collected was not functioning,” his charge sheet reads in part.

“You lied and denied possessing any for registration during an interview. It was later strongly revealed that you concealed the material thereby committing the above offences.”

The court held that the operator’s infractions amount to cheating and intent to conceal theft, both contrary to Sections 311, 391, and 286 of the Penal Code.

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Olisaemeka Okeke, the prosecuting counsel, told the court that the suspect had pleaded guilty to the charges.

Pere Adge, the defendant’s counsel, added that the accused was a Nigerian who might have been prompted by the prevailing economic realities to commit the infractions without intent to cause damage or harm.

The lawyer said Augustine is a first-time offender and pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

Aliyu Ibrahim Kagarko, the presiding judge, ordered that he should be remanded at Nasarawa Correctional Centre until February 8.

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On February 9, Augustine was found guilty on all four counts.

The court stated that the criminal breach of trust attracts nine-month imprisonment or a N30,000 fine.

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An attempt to commit the offence of cheating attracts a six-month imprisonment or a fine of N20,000.

Ezechinoso was also found guilty of intent to conceal which attracted a three-month imprisonment term or a fine of N10,000.

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In turn, the court stated that theft attracted eight months or a fine of N30,000.

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