- entices parents with juicy admission fee
By OKOSUN DENNIS
As admission into various Nigerian universities gets underway and numerous candidates are jostling to maximise the slim available slots, conmen (419) are cashing on it to hoodwink gullible parents, candidates into their unholy criminal acts with a view to siphoning them for courses of their choice.
Fake syndicate with operational base in Benin City, the capital of Edo state have sharpened their deceptive skills to scam as many parents as possible.
National Daily’s correspondent who pretended to be a parent seeking for admission for his daughter established conversation with the syndicate with a view to knowing their modus operandi, strength and demands.
Realistically, the acclaimed head of the gang, insensible that he was speaking with a journalist, identified himself as Deacon Kenneth Ogunsola of Living Faith Assembly, Ugbowo, Benin City explaining that he was the next person to the Registrar of the University of Benin.
Unfortunately, it was most shocking that when asked the name of the Registrar to whom he is the deputy, he gave a different name.
How the syndicate function
Ken explained, “It’s good you called. I must tell you that admission into UNIBEN is difficult due to the slim available space. I am a man of God and must tell you the truth. Admission is for sale. We can help you to secure that with ease if only you do the right thing and commission me to work on it.”
He kept on prodding that something needed to be done to make it happen. At that point, our reporter made him to understand that a candidate that performed well in Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) should be given admission with ease.
Based on that, the conman further explained that it would take N62,000 to perfect the administration since the candidates performance was good. According to him, the moment the money is transferred into his account domiciled in Zenith Bank, the processing will began claiming a file would be opened for the student and immediately sent to the Registrar, whom he allegedly said was aware of the transaction.
It became apparent that the man who claimed to be a Deacon was a fraudster when he refused to meet with our reporter until he pays the money which would serve as a prerequisite for appointment. “Once you pay, I will fix an appointment with you to deepen discussions about the admission.
Inquisitive to uncover if Ken actually works with the Registrar galvanised into asking to know who the Registrar was. “You mean the name of the Registrar? To which our reporter retorted: “Yes, I would like to know the name of the Registrar.”
In his response said, “You don’t know him? The Registrar is Mr Kingsley Okoeboh, an Ishan man,” oblivious that I knew that the Registrar was a woman of incontestable disposition.
When National Daily visited the campus of the University of Benin at Ugbowo and confronted the Registrar, Mrs O.A Oshodin to confirm the veracity and authenticity of the man who claimed to be acting on her behalf, she denied knowing such person.
She explained that such a person or name does not work in her office not to talk of being next to her in office.
Investigation, however, revealed that the phone number: 08159924966 the conman hoisted on the fake UNIBEN website does not belong to the University of Benin. It was also discovered that the fraudster has been running fake UNIBEN website for sometimes now; a site the school authority has already alerted members of the public about.
Desperation to get paid
At a point, it became obvious that there was the need to convince the conman that I wanted to pay so that he can reveal his account details. The only option was to negotiate with a promise to pay the money immediately.
On the basis of that, the initial charge was negotiated to N40,000 and that was instantly met with partial approval as he pleaded to make it N45,000 instead claiming that N25,000 would be sent to the Registrar’s office.
Eventually, on the 11th August, 2017 about 9:26am, he sent an account number which bore another person’s name as: Balogun Favour: Zenith Bank 7781770703. Not satisfied with the idea of sending an account number that bores another person’s name, our reporter insisted that he sends his own number since he has no deal with Balogun.
He insisted that the account belongs to their cashier who collates every amount that comes before it is shared. To convince the reporter, he immediately gave his phone to another person who asked: “What was the problem?
He explained further, “We are like four. He is the one to choose the account detail. Do you want me to send the school account for the school to be aware? This is what I don’t want. I am not the only one. I am not the registrar and I told you that I work with the registrar. I can’t just give my account number. Good name is better than riches! I fear God and after God is money. Please, make the payment now and let me know,” he reiterated.
In a swift reaction, the University of Benin authority in a statement made available to National Daily titled: “UNIBEN yet to commence UTME/DIRECT ENTRY admission exercise for 2017/2018 academic session,” signed by the Registrar, Mrs O.A Oshodin warned parents not to deal with anybody claiming to be working for the university, adding that “admission is not for sale in the University of Benin.”
In a four paragraphs statement explained that, “The attention of the authorities of the University of Benin has been drawn to a fake University of Benin website created by criminal elements to defraud unsuspecting members of the public under the guise of offering admission to their children or wards.”
She further reiterated that “The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, the statutory examination body in charge of UTME/DIRECT ENTRY admission is yet to release the guidelines for 2017/2018 admission process, neither has the board given the Universities the go ahead to do so.
Mrs Oshodin added, “the public should be wary of such and other related questionable overtures. The office of the Registrar is not in charge of admission, as there is a board in the University saddled with the responsibility of admitting qualified candidates into the various courses offered by the University.”
Conmen sharpened strategies
Not done with his entreaties to siphon money from our reporter, he has been using all methods to hoodwink him to pay the money.
However, as the delay to pay the agreed money continued, he had to send another Bank Account which bore his real name as: Kenneth Ogunsola; Diamond Bank 7781770703.
In addition, the conman also sent an email address:firstname.lastname@example.org demanding
that state of origin, affidavit from court with white background passport be scanned to his email to enable him carry out comprehensive documentation.
When confronted that the Registrar is a woman, Kenneth Ogunsola, the conman insisted it was not true but went defensive. “Some of these students don’t know the registrar. The moment they went into an office and sees any woman, they may think she is the registrar.
“Just believe what I told you and make the payment. I will handle everything well. I am a man of God and will do the needful,” he concluded.
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