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HomeEducationTrial of 89 NECO Staff for Certificate Forgery Adjourned Till June 21

Trial of 89 NECO Staff for Certificate Forgery Adjourned Till June 21

Following Mrs. Rose Deffi’s absence from the Plateau State High Court in Jos on Thursday, when the case was summoned, the trial of the 89 National Examination Council employees who were terminated in 2020 due to allegations of certificate fabrication has been put on hold.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission, or ICPC, had charged Deffi with a crime after discovering that, while working for NECO, she had forged her academic certificate.

In 2020, NECO carried out a national staff certificate verification exercise, and it was found that 89 employees had used forged certificates.

The 89 workers’ dismissals were then confirmed by the Council’s Governing Board, which also forwarded their files to the Nigerian Police and the ICPC for prosecution.

Lawyer for the defendant, Mr. P. M. Lere, informed the court that his client had not received any notification regarding the charge until approximately 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and that he would be arraigned the following day, when the case was summoned before Justice G. D. Fwomyon on Thursday.

Despite the short notice, he said, Deffi was in Minna, Niger State, at the time of the call and intended to return to Jos on Thursday morning.

On behalf of the defendant, Lere then requested to get the charge sheet.

The prosecution was unable to serve the defendant with the charge sheet, according to Counsel to the ICPC, Mr. O. G. Iwuagwu, who informed the court that the prosecution was informed about the meeting on Monday but had not arrived in Jos till Wednesday.

Nevertheless, he stated that the accused was summoned on Tuesday, contrary to her attorney’s claim that she was just made aware of the appointment on Wednesday.

“The defendant had no problem with us traveling from Abuja to Jos to serve her, but once we arrived, the story changed, claiming she was originally in Lokoja and that we are now hearing she was in Minna,” he stated.

Iwuagwu told the court that since this was a criminal proceeding, the defendant had to be served in person according to the law.

Nonetheless, he stated that the prosecution “prays on the strength of the application to be served by substituted means on the order of the court” in light of the defendant’s counsel’s request for a substituted service.

“We also ask that the defendant’s attorney, based on the merits of his application, guarantee her presence in court on the following postponed date.”

Following the hearing of the attorneys’ arguments, Trial Judge Justice Fwomyon decided that the defendant would be served by substitute method and that her attorney would make sure she appeared in court on the following postponed day.

In order to allow the defendant to enter a plea, the trial was postponed until June 21, 2024.

Sodiq Soda
Sodiq Soda
I’m Sodiq Oluwadamilare Soda, a Web Developer/Web Design also a Graphic Designer.


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