- Millions lost through fake payment platforms
By Cyril Mbah, Abuja
The University of Abuja management and many admission seekers are counting their losses after a syndicate allegedly working in cahoots with some ubiquitous officials of the institution reportedly siphoned millions of naira.
Impeccable sources at the university disclosed that some unscrupulous employees within the accounts section of the university connived with outsiders and opened bogus payment platforms for the payment of school fees, carry-over charges, examination card fees, on-line transcript fees, post-JAMB examination form fees, online collection of results and remita payments.
According to the sources, the syndicate cashed in on the high turn-out of prospective students and the pressure from applicants seeking admission into the university to perfect the fraud. More than 20, 000 applicants apply for admission into the university annually but the institution has capacity for only 4, 000 students.
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It was gathered that the university lost almost N200 million in the scam as unwary admission-seeking applicants to the university unwittingly paid several amounts of money into bogus accounts before the smooth operators disappeared into thin air without remitting the money to the university.
The deal bust open when the victims numbering about 100 visited the university to sit for their pre-admission examinations armed with the forged receipts that were issued to them by the syndicate and the university told them there were no record of their payments.
It was gathered that, after the intervention of the university management, the applicants were allowed to sit for the examination on the condition that they pay another token amount to cover costs while investigation was instituted to unravel how the architects of the scam and their accomplices were able to get away with the dirty deal without being detected.
The university allows private cyber cafes and other business centres located inside the school to collect certain school charges including post JAMB examination forms fees for the institution due to the absence of a centralised payment unit in the university and this gives room for racketeering.
Normal academic schedules of the university were allegedly affected by the problem as lectures were yet to commence more than two weeks after the students resumed for the 2017/2018 academic session.
Deputy Registrar [Information and Publications], Alhaji Waziri Garba who commented on the matter, confirmed that a cyber café was involved in some illegal fees collection and racketeering stressing that the police were called in and that investigators were handling the case.
He also assured that “Lectures have now resumed at the university since late January,” although our correspondent, who visited the main campus spoke to several students milling around the premises and they confirmed that serious lectures had not resumed.