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Woman caught five years after working with fake certificates

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission on Tuesday arraigned a woman for allegedly using a forged university certificate and exemption letter from the National Youth Service Corps to secure a job with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Oden Akpama worked for five years with the ministry, earning around N2.84m in salary before she was caught.

A statement by spokeswoman for the ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Akpama was arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Kwali, Abuja, presided by Justice Anna Akobi on nine counts bordering on making false statements and forgery.

The statement said, “Counsel for the ICPC, Kioba Anabraba, told the court that Akpama  sometime in 2013 allegedly made a false statement to the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, in which she claimed to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Calabar in 2011 and a national youth service exemption letter from the NYSC in 2012, with which she  was  employed by  the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, and thereafter earned salary from October 2013 to July 2018 to the tune of N2, 845, 654. 06.

“The offence is contrary to Section 25(1)(a) and punishable under Section 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. The court also heard that Akpama allegedly forged a University of Calabar degree and an NYSC exemption certificate which she used to gain employment in 2013, an offence that is contrary to Section 363 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law (Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963). The accused  pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to her.”

The anti-corruption body said the defence counsel, Joseph Mong, urged the court to grant his client bail in liberal terms. He argued that the defendant had been on administrative bail from the ICPC which she had kept faithfully.

Justice Akobi in her ruling granted the accused bail in the sum of N1m and a surety in like sum while also adjourning the case until June 18 and 20, 2019 for hearing.

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