By Uchino Amatey
The Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (CR-SUBEB) has once again escaped the hands of fraudsters after an attempt to defraud the Board’s UBE Matching Grant account of N1.3billion was recently uncovered by the outgoing Chairman, Dr Stephen Odey.
The suspect who claimed to be Prof. Ofeimun forged the signature of the Executive Chairman and the old letter headed paper of the Board, but met his waterloo after the bank alerted the Board Chairman amid suspicion. The case was further reported to the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the suspect was tracked down in Edo State.
According to Dr Odey “on the 30th of April, I was contacted by Eco Bank to confirm my authorization for the transfer of the sum of N1.3b to an account number belonging to WRTS Nigeria Limited through a letter purported to have been sent by me to their Lagos branch. I was further informed that a certain Prof. Ofeimun had made several calls to the bank asking that the said amount of money be transferred to his account as the owner of the company, unmindful of the fact that SUBEB does not even have such an amount in its matching grant account.”
“the ill-fated letter purported to have been signed and written by me was emailed to me from the bank. Based on the fact that Prof. Ofeimun is unknown to me and has no contractual relationship with my office and the said letter was forged, I quickly reported the matter to the Chief Security Officer to the Governor, Mr Mark Anyogo and I wrote a petition to the DSS to intervene and track down Prof. Ofeimun with his phone number sent to me from the bank.”
He further started that upon his assumption of office, he adopted the use of a new letter headed paper with security features in a pre-emptive effort to stop cases like this.
Condemning this fraudulent act, the outgoing Chairman, Dr Stephen Odey has described it as a nefarious act perpetrated against the Board and the State Government. He added that fraudulent activities such as this are calculated attempts to cause problems for the Board.
He further warned fraudsters to stir clear of SUBEB Accounts or be subjected to even dire consequences.
Dr Odey commended the Department of State security Services (DSS) for their timely intervention to the situation and for tracking down the suspect, thereby vindicating the Board.
The suspect who is presently in DSS custody for further investigation will be transferred to the EFCC for prosecution upon conclusion of the investigation.
This is the third attempt to defraud the Board all of which have been successfully forestalled.