Salisu Usman Ogbo, the rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, says the institution has discovered an exam fraud syndicate and certificate racketeers operating within and outside its Lokoja campus.
The rector, who disclosed this during a press briefing in Lokoja on Monday, said 12 suspects, who are students, were paraded by the security department of the institution over alleged culpability in the fraud.
Ogbo said the management had launched an investigation into the case following intelligence report about the existence of “magic centres” within the campus and in some parts of Lokoja.
“We immediately set investigative machineries in motion to ascertain the authenticity of the report,” he explained.
“Lo and behold, the centre being controlled by a syndicate of some disgruntled elements in our system was discovered right in the heart of Lokoja.
“We were able to unravel this academic decadence with evidence on Thursday, 5th November 2020.
“Our team was able to burst one of the centres called ‘Champion Lodge’ at ‘Sarkin Norma’ after the Primary School.
“Even as the suspects escaped before the arrival of the security team, a total of 32 answer scripts on different courses, with students’ particulars written on each, were retrieved from ‘Carlifonia Lodge’ at the same ‘Sarkin Norma’ where the scripts were kept for onward transmission to their principal(s).
“On 9th November 2020, we were also able to arrest additional 12 participants of the said ‘Magic centre’ who variously confessed to their involvement.”
On the identity of the suspects, Ogbo said one Victor Attah, the owner of the room that was used as the “magic centre”, was nabbed alongside one Daniel Ikoja, the owner of the place where scripts were kept.
He said the management would not tolerate any act that would tarnish the credibility of the institution and its certificates.
“So far, we have been able to establish one case involving an external result (forgery) used to secure admission into the polytechnic,” the rector added.
“In all, we have expanded our dragnet with the view to tracing all those directly or indirectly involved in the fraud, and we will ensure that they are all brought to book.
“After our investigation, we will ensure that all the collaborators are brought to book in accordance with our laws.”