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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Source: Daily Guide

Knustford University defrauded $80,000 by two Nigerians

Two Nigerian students of Knutsford University College in Accra have been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court for stealing an amount of $80,000 belonging to the school.

The two level 300 students, Femi Job and Gaius Biboye, have been charged with four counts of stealing, falsification of accounts and forging of documents. They were alleged to have forged certain documents of the Bank of Africa by interpolating certain figures and succeeded in making away with the cash belonging to the school.

They were also slapped with an additional charge of failing to make full and true payments into the accounts of the said bank when they went to the bank to pay their school fees.

The prosecution on Tuesday amended the charge to include Biboye. Initially only Femi was standing trial for the offence.

But counsel for the accused persons, Abraham Amalliba, after the trial judge, Francis Obiri, had raised concerns over the new charges, said he was happy the judge had seen some "gaps" in the charges as presented by the prosecution. "Clearly, you have noticed some gabs; we, at the appropriate time, will come before this court,’ he said.

He prayed the court to grant his clients bail, a request the prosecutor, ACP Mosses Atibilla, disagreed with.

He said with further police investigations currently underway, the accused persons when "left loose" could interfere with the process.

Mr. Obiri nonetheless refused bail to the second accused and granted bail to Femi in the sum of GHc150,000 with five sureties, four to be civil ser¬vants each not earning less than GHc300.

Presenting the facts, ACP Mosses Atibilla said the complainant in the case is the accounts officer of the university college while the accused persons are level 300 Nigerian students of the same school.

He said the accused persons were admitted in the school in 2011 and were to pay $14,000 as school fees per semester but paid once for the first semester in level 100 and adopted a mechanism to convince the accounts officer and the school authorities that they had paid their fees in full.

ACP Atibilla stated that they went to the bank officially assigned for students to pay their fees and forged cash deposit slips duly endorsed with the bank's official stamp and submitted same to the schools' accounts office.

The prosecutor said that the accused also succeeded in convincing about 40 students from Nigeria who are also students of the university that the Governor of the Bayelsa State in Nigeria was offering a scholarship to Nigerian students who paid their fees through him at the bank and that students would get GHcl50 out of their fees after paying.

He said on March 26, 2014, the accounts officer of the school detected a short¬age of about $80,000 from their accounts and interim investigation revealed that the accused persons were responsible.

ACP Atibilla further disclosed that the complainant reported to the police, who effected their arrest. They admitted the offence in their caution statement. They are to reappear on May 13.

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