Court Sentences Fake INEC Staff in Cross River

A magistrate court in Calabar, Cross River State, has sentenced a 24 year old man, Obot Silas, to six months in jail with hard labour for parading himself as a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He was charged with operating a fraudulent employment syndicate and falsely presenting himself as INEC staff, obtaining various sums from some unsuspecting members of the public to which he pleaded guilty.

Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini , said following actionable information to INEC of a syndicate fraudulently engaged in an illegal recruitment exercise, the police was informed, arrest made, incriminating fake employment forms of unsuspecting job seekers recovered and leading to the arraignment of Silas.

He said, “The convict who presented himself as INEC staff on the 28th of September at Limit Hotel, Mayne Avenue Calabar, under false pretence fraudulently obtained the sums of N12,000.00, N7,000,00, N4,000.00 and N5,000.00 respectively from four members of the public, that he is a staff of INEC capable of providing them with employment in the Commission thereby contravening section 108 of the Criminal code under which he was charged at the Chief Magistrate court in Calabar.

“The conviction underscores the call by INEC to members of the public, to beware of claims by individuals or groups operating as syndicates who exploit the unemployment situation in the country to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians to pay monies for employment. INEC under the leadership of prof. Attahiru Jega does not and did not collect fees or charges from those that the Commission recently employed.

“We enjoin anyone who is requested to pay fees or charges to cross-check first with my office or any of our Area offices, specifically through our public affairs departments for clarifications before dealing with anyone on any issues concerning the activities of INEC. Anyone with information on any person or groups collecting such fees or charges for employment in the name of the Commission, to report such illegal activities to the nearest police station or the nearest INEC office convenient for the individual.

“We hope that the conviction of Mr. Emmanuel Obot Silas will serve as a deterrent to other criminally minded groups and public organisations that collect fees and charges from job seekers would also take measures to protect unsuspecting employment seekers in our country.”

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