A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has sentenced one Roland Onosemuode, to six months imprisonment for forging a Bachelors of Engineering (Chemical) degree of the University of Port Harcourt.
Intelligence that had reached the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) indicated that Onosemuode had been in the business of forging such certificates and selling them to interested buyers.
The Rivers State office of the Commission, therefore, carried out a sting operation in which an operative posed as a prospective certificate buyer, and that led to the convict’s arrest with the forged degree certificate found in his possession.
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Onosemuode was then charged before Justice S. H. Aprioko by ICPC on a one-count bordering on forgery of documents with the intent to criminally sell same to members of the public.
Counsel to ICPC, Dr Agada Akogwu, told the court that Onosemuode’s action was contrary to Section 465 of the Criminal Code and punishable under Section 466 of the same Act.
The convict then pleaded guilty after the charge had been read to him at his arraignment on 15th November 2019.
His counsel, Mr Kenneth Ejiofor, urged the judge to be lenient with the sentencing being that he was a first-time offender who did not waste the time of the court during the trial.
Justice Aprioko, while delivering judgment, sentenced him to a six-month non-custodial sentence of communal service which will involve him putting in three hours of hard work with ICPC every week. The nature of hard work would be directed and supervised by ICPC.