The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Tuesday in Abuja, announced its decision to prosecute some staff of the National Examination Council (NECO) for allegedly possessing fake certificates.
This was contained in a statement authorised by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, and made available to newsmen.
The move, according to the commission, followed a request by the NECO Register, Professor Godswill Obioma, to prosecute the affected staff when the former visited the commission recently.
The statement quoted Professor Obioma of saying, at the meeting with ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, and other top management staff of the commission, that the governing council of NECO had, through a staff verification exercise, found that some staff were working in the agency with fake certificates.
It said Professor Obioma then urged ICPC to act on the report of the exercise which had been submitted to the commission, as he wanted ICPC to do justice to the report especially those culpable for prosecution.
The statement said: “Professor Obioma also sought for the assistance of the commission in combating the menace of examination malpractices. He observed that a prior collaboration with ICPC in tackling examination malpractice had yielded positive results, adding that the continuous partnerships with the commission against corruption would give credibility to NECO examinations and processes.
“The NECO boss who also spoke on the efforts to tackle the menace of examination malpractice said that the agency would soon introduce Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in examination halls across the country.
“He said the CCTV was the new technology-based approach soon to be deployed by NECO to improve its general operations and reduce corrupt tendencies within the agency.
“Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, in response, stressed that the issue of fake certificates was becoming widespread with so many ‘special centres’ for passing examinations.
“He said the commission was willing to assist NECO in tackling corruption in the education sector, adding that the prevalence of fake certificates in the work-place was affecting quality service delivery.
“We are quite delighted that you are focused on dealing with corruption in the education sector. The issue of the fake certificate is pandemic and deeply rooted and this partially explains the struggle by government agencies to do well.” The statement signed by Mrs Ogugua of ICPC added.