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ICPC Opens Case Against Illegal Universities In Nigeria

The trial of Professor Chris Okoro
and Mr. Charles Ebue, of Richmond
Open University, Ltd, Enugu, who
were arraigned by the Independent
Corrupt Practices and Other Related
Offences Commission (ICPC) before
Hon Justice Mohammed Liman of
the Federal High Court, Enugu
commenced on Wednesday 1st
November, 2017.
The accused persons were charged
in May, 2013 for operating an
unaccredited academic degree-
awarding institution in Enugu.
The first prosecution witness, Mr
Chidi Orji, an operative of ICPC,
testified before Justice Liman that
his team of investigators had
obtained a warrant from the
Federal High Court, Abuja in May,
2013 to search and seal up the
premises of Richmond Open
University, Ltd, Enugu and about 62
other such institutions across the
The witness further informed the
court that the activities of the
unaccredited university were
noticed following a Universities
System Study and Review exercise
carried out by ICPC which revealed
the prevalence of many
unaccredited academic degree-
awarding institutions in Nigeria.
He narrated how the Commission
obtained a list of such unaccredited
institutions from the National
Universities Commission and
identified the Richmond Open
University, Ltd as number 41 on the
list. The witness testified that some
of the institutions on the list were
licensed to operate as universities
but were offering unaccredited
academic programmes.
He said that some other institutions
were operating without complying
with the provisions of the Education
(National Minimum Standards) and
Establishment of Institutions Act
The witness further testified that
unsuspecting members of the public
were attracted to study in these
universities without knowing that
the academic certificates offered
were unaccredited and worthless
for employment or career
The prosecution witness identified
Mazi Okoro as the Sole Proprietor,
Vice Chancellor and Academic
Instructor who was awarding
national diplomas, higher national
diplomas, first degrees, masters’
degrees, and doctorate degrees in
various fields including accounting,
criminology and journalism.
The ICPC prosecutor, Barrister
Adenekan Shogunle applied to
tender the warrant from the Federal
High Court, Abuja which was
admitted in evidence and marked
as Exhibit 1. The case was further
adjourned to 6th December, 2017
for continuation of hearing.
Source: WTP.

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