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Court jails expert in varsity certificate forgery

ROLAND Onosemuode, an expert in the forgery of university certificates has been sentenced to a six-month jail term by Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.

Onosemuode was said to have forged a Bachelors of Engineering (Chemical) degree of the University of Port Harcourt before he was arrested.

The prosecuting counsel, Agada Akogwu, told the court that the convict flouted Section 465 of the Criminal Code, thus punishable under Section 466 of the same Act.

According to  a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),  Onosemuode had been in the business of forging such certificates which he eventually sells to interested buyers.

An official of the commission, from its Rivers State office, however, disguised as a potential client, approached the criminal for a certificate which later led to his arrest.

He was caught in possession of a forged degree certificate.

Onosemuode was then charged before Justice S. H. Aprioko by the ICPC on a one-count bordering on forgery of documents with the intent to criminally sell same to members of the public.

After his arraignment on November 15, with his charges read to him, the convict pleaded guilty of the accusation.

Kenneth Ejiofor, his counsel, however, pleaded with the judge to be lenient with the sentencing as the convict was a first-time offender who did not waste time of the court during the trial.

However, the presiding judge, Justice Aprioko sentenced Onosemuode to a six-month non-custodial sentence of communal service.

While delivering the judgment, the judge stated that the verdict would involve the convict putting in three hours of hard work with the ICPC every week.

“The nature of the hard work would be directed and supervised by ICPC,” the statement read.

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