Desperation has seen many admission seekers fall victim of fraudulent individuals, whose main job is to lure their prey into parting with agreed amounts of money, with the assurance of securing admission for them. NNAMDI MBAWIKE writes that the menace, which is currently a trend at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), has led to the de-recognition of about 50 people as students of the institution.
It is no longer news that many final year students of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) were recently declared persona non grata by the institution. By implication, they will not be awarded degree certificates, despite their having spent four or five tumultuous years in the school. What was their crime? The crime they committed was that they allegedly gained admission through the ‘back door’. Although the names of the students were said to have appeared on the admission list initially, the authorities of the school had allegedly continued to insist that they were not legitimate students.
LEADERSHIP Education’s investigation revealed that some of the students were given fake registration numbers and admission letters to enable them pursue their educational careers in the school. Although the sources of the admission scandal are yet to be officially announced by the authorities of the institution, investigations indicated that many on the staff of the institution are actively involved and are making good money out of dealing in fake admissions letters for unsuspecting students.
The victims, apart from the years they wasted on campus, spent several thousands of naira to secure the controversial admission in the first place. They also spent a lot of money paying school fees each year, believing that the authorities of the school would consider them during their final year. Unfortunately, the reverse is now the case, as the authorities have vowed to flush them out by all means.
Some of the students who spoke to LEADERSHIP Education said they were yet to believe that they will not be awarded certificates.
”ESUT has refused to recognise us as legitimate students despite the fact that our names appeared in its admission register. They gave us matriculation numbers and our names appeared on the initial admissions list. After spending four years here, they are now telling us that we are not students, despite the fact that we paid our school fees,” an affected student from the Accountancy Department said amidst tears.
LEADERSHIP Education also gathered that a final year student in the Faculty of Engineering who went to the school recently for screening, was also told that he was not a student of the institution because his name was not on the admissions list. Our findings revealed that when the mother of the student got wind of the development, she was said to have quickly met one of the principal officers of the faculty for inquiry and an explanation.
The woman, LEADERSHIP Education gathered, was said to have asked the officer why the name of her child had suddenly disappeared from the admissions list, “despite the fact that the institution accepted his school fees from year one to the final year”. But the officer allegedly told the woman that he could not do anything about it, because the name of her son was not on the original admissions list.
Other affected students who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity called on the state government to intervene in the matter to avert a crisis.
But a lecturer in the Department of Management Services, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said ESUT would not award any certificate to unqualified persons.
He disclosed that the institution had warned prospective students not to patronise admission letter peddlers, who usually hoodwink them into parting with huge amounts of money with a promise to secure admission for them, adding that henceforth, anybody without the authentic examination number of ESUT would not be allowed to participate in the final year examinations of the school.
A student of the institution, who identified himself as Agu, blamed the students for their plight, insisting that they were aware that they were not legitimate students.
He said, “My brother let me tell you, some of these students got ‘department admission’. Although I sympathise with them, they ought to have verified whether they were legitimate students or not. However, I am appealing to state government to consider them. Their parents have spent a lot of money and some of the victims may not have told their parents or sponsors that they got fraudulent admission,” he said.
Our investigations revealed that more than 50 students from different departments are affected in the admissions scandal currently rocking ESUT.
When contacted, the spokesman of ESUT, Mr Osita Ugwuti told LEADERSHIP Education that it was possible that the affected persons may not have been students of the institution.