A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Apo, Abuja, has found a senior staff of the University of Ibadan, Adedeji Taiwo, guilty of forging the signature of the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie.
Taiwo was charged in July 2016, before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a 4-count bordering on the use of position to confer unfair advantage on a person, forgery and making false statement to a constituted authority.
Counsel to ICPC, Ekoi Akponimisingha told the court that the offence violated Sections 19 and 25 (1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same sections.
The Commission accused Taiwo, who was a Principal Executive Officer, Passage and Protocol of the University of Ibadan of presenting a forged letter from NUC to the Director, Consular and Immigration Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, with the intent to facilitate the approval of a Note-Verbale for one Mr. Lukmon Jegede Adedeyemi, who was a not a staff of University of Ibadan, to enable him attend a conference at the National University of Seoul, South Korea.
The charge sheet reads in part, “That you Adedeji Taiwo, while being in the employment of the University of Ibadan used your position as Principal Executive Officer, Passage and Protocol to confer unfair advantage on one Mr. Jegede Lukmon Adedeyemi by introducing him to the Director, Consular and Immigration Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a staff in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan, via a letter captioned ‘Request for Note-Verbale, when you knew he is not a staff of the said University and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The trial judge has however reserved sentencing to 30th January, 2018 in line with the FCT High Court sentencing guidelines made by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which requires separate proceedings.