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ICPC Arraigns Dismissed NECO Staff Over Alleged Certificate Forgery

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned Mrs. Rose Deffi, a former employee of the National Examination Council (NECO), who was dismissed over allegations of certificate forgery.

The trial was first scheduled for May 30, 2024, before Honourable Justice G.D. Fwomyon at the Plateau State High Court but was stalled due to the defendant’s absence.

The court ruled that Mrs. Deffi should be served the charge sheet through substituted means and be produced in court by her lawyer at the next hearing.

On Friday, when the case was called, Mrs. Deffi, who was present in the court, pleaded not guilty to all seven counts of forgery against her.

In light of her plea, the ICPC counsel Mr. O.G. Iwuagwu requested another date for the trial’s commencement while the defense counsel, Mr. P.M. Lere did not oppose this but asked the court to consider the bail application for his client.

The ICPC Counsel Mr. Iwuagwu did not oppose the bail application but requested the court to set conditions, ensuring the defendant’s availability for trial.

The Presiding Judge Justice Fwomyon, after listening to the arguments of both counsels, granted Mrs. Deffi bail at N2 million with two sureties of the same amount, and he adjourned the case till September 26, 2024, for trial commencement.

In 2020, NECO conducted a nationwide certificate verification exercise, resulting in 89 staff members being indicted for using fake certificates.

The Council’s Governing Board subsequently approved their dismissals and referred their cases to the ICPC and the Nigerian Police for prosecution.

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