CBT owner, Court

A Grade One Area Court sitting in Abuja has convicted a Computer Based Test (CBT) owner, Ezechinoso Augustine, over registration infraction, concealment, breach of trust and theft.

Ezechinoso, who operates a CBT centre in Onitsha, Anambra State, was charged with criminal breach of trust, concealment, registration infraction (cheating) and theft by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The charge read: “That on 26th January 2024 You, Mr Ezechinoso, male of No. 28 Omonun Street, Awada, Onitsha, Anambra State, signed and collected a customised and sensitive registration material from the Anambra State Office of the Board to enable you kick-start and activate the process of UTME registration. But instead concealed it with intention to defraud the Board, to enable you acquire a second one to complete your fraudulent activities at the CBT centre.”

The CBT owner, on Monday, February 6, 2024, pleaded guilty to the charge.

The defence counsel, Pere Adge, however, pleaded that the accused was a Nigerian, who might have been prompted by the prevailing circumstances to commit the infractions without intent to cause damage or harm, and being a first-time offender, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.

The presiding judge, Aliyu Ibrahim Kagarko, however, found the suspect guilty and ordered that he should be remanded at Nasarawa Correctional Centre till Thursday, February 8, when judgement would be delivered.

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However, the case could not be heard on the scheduled date on account of unforeseen circumstances and was postponed to the following day, Friday, February 9.

The judge later found Ezechinoso guilty on all four counts citing the criminal breach of trust, which attracted nine-month imprisonment or N30,000 fine and attempt to commit the offence of cheating, which attracted a six-month imprisonment or a fine of N20,000.

The CBT owner was also found guilty of intent to conceal, which attracted three months imprisonment term or the payment of a fine of N10,000 while the fourth count charge, which was theft, attracted eight months or an option of N30,000 fine.

In its reaction, JAMB commended the judgement and warned would-be infractors to desist from their nefarious agenda or face the full wrath of the law.

The Board also warned of the array of technological devices at its disposal which, it said, had enabled real-time detection of infractions.

JAMB, therefore, warned that it would not hesitate to punish any person or group, “no matter how highly-placed, who might wish to undermine the Board”.

It reassured the public that it would not leave any stone unturned to protect its systems and clients against any form of violation.

JAMB, in a statement issued on Sunday by its spokesman, Fabian Benjamin, vowed to follow up the prosecution of the case of the reported violation of the data protection right of a 15-year-old candidate by an agent of a CBT centre currently before a court in Lagos.

The examination body assured the parents of the girl and other concerned Nigerians involved that justice would be served accordingly.

The Star



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