Two men who attempted to clinch a choice job using a letterheaded paper and signature of the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome, were last week arraigned before the Upper Area Court in Karu, Abuja on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy, forgery and impersonation.
The accused person, Mr. Anthony Eziuche, 38, years old from Igbuzor in the Oshimili Local Government Area of Delta State and Hammed Oyebanji, 28, from Awe area of Oyo State were nabbed by operatives of the FCT Command, State Investigation Bureau (SIB) led by Mr. Chidi Ohanmuo and Miss Hoviareh Upo.
The first suspect, Eziuche, a former official of the defunct Bank of Commerce and Industry, who resides at Ilaje Road, Shomolu-Lagos had approached the second accused, Oyebanji who also operates from Shomolu area of Lagos State to design and print the letterhead Oghiadome in order to use it secure an employment.
According to police investigation, Eziuche, through this dubious means secured an employment with the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, (AMCON) on February 15, 2012 but was dismissed on March 1, 2012, when AMCON Management discovered that Eziuche’s introductory letter from the office of Chief of Staff to the President was forged.
When he was asked how he came about the letter, Eziuche went into hiding which led to his sack.
Desperate to secure a job, Eziuche, who couldn’t sense any danger from what he was doing, went ahead to yet write and sign on behalf of the Chief of Staff, other letters to the Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) Abuja, Minister of Information Technology and Minister of Transport for employment.
But luck was not on his side this time around. When he was invited for an interview at the NCC corporate headquarters in Abuja and asked to inform the panel of interviewers more about his introductory letter from the Chief of Staff to the President, he could not defend it.
It was at this point, LEADERSHIP learnt the police was invited to whisk him away for more interrogation on how he came about the said letter of introduction.
According to the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Mustapha Rasheed, who confirmed the incident, the first suspect, Eziuche actually forged the letterhead of the Chief of Staff and signed on behalf of the Chief of Staff and sent same to the Vice-Chairman of NCC, Abuja, Minister of Information Technology, Minister of Transport and the Managing Director of AMCON, seeking for employment.
The PPRO continued that the second suspect, Oyebanji, who is a printer and the one that printed the letterhead was arrested on June 25, 2012 in Shomolu, Lagos State and admitted that he printed four copies of the letterhead bearing the name Oghiadome.
Eziuche, who felt remorseful, narrated how all efforts to secure a job in the past eight years yielded no fruits because he did not know anybody.
The Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye 2003 graduate of Accountancy said since there was no other visible means for him to secure an employment in the Nigeria of today, he decided to use the name and office of a prominent person in government to his advantage, alleging that his motive was not for any criminal intent but only to secure an employment.
As both accused pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them, the prosecutor, Mr. Sani Yakubu, requested the summary trial of the case as contained in the FIR.
In his judgement, the presiding Judge, Umar Yusuf Kagarko held that the suspects to had shown remorse by weeping publicly for the offences brought against them. He held that the culprit committed the said offence for the purpose of getting an employment to fend for his family and not for contract or any other crime.”
“In this wise, the court decided to tamper justice with mercy by awarding them light punishment of 2 months imprisonment each with an option of ten thousand naira fine each.”