By Agency Reporter
The Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (CRS-SUBEB), has suspended Ikwa Bassey Eteng a primary school teacher of Migrant Government School, Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area, for defrauding members of the public worth thousands of naira during the Board’s recruitment exercise.
One of his victims, Mercy Oduba said she paid over two hundred thousand naira to get a job for herself and her husband.
While narrating her ordeal to the Board Chairman and Management Staff, Mercy said she was led to believe that the suspect had a direct link to the Chairman.
According to her, “He told me he has a boss who is very close to the Chairman and asked me to apply online for the Job and send my name to him to forward to his Boss, who will in turn take it to the Chairman. After some days, he sent a text that the Chairman told his Boss those that have B.Ed should pay one hundred and fifty thousand naira and those with NCE should pay one hundred thousand naira, I told him I do not have that type of money. After some weeks, he told me to come and meet him on the highway close to WAEC office in Calabar with my computer printout and that of my husband. When I met him he told me he has collected printouts from those who have paid to give to his Boss. He showed me alert on his phone that he had received from another person.
“He also told me that his Boss has brought down the amount to one hundred thousand naira for those with B.Ed. I told him I still did not have the money and asked him to give me some time to raise it. So I gave him those printouts without money, he called me the next day that his Boss rejected printouts, he said he cannot give Chairman printout without money, so I should try and raise the money so I can get this job before the list becomes full. When I got the money, I went to the bank and paid him two hundred thousand naira, one hundred thousand naira each for myself and my husband. I had earlier paid the sum of three thousand, six hundred naira which he said was to be used in purchasing a bag of garri for the Chairman,” she explained.
She however knew she had been defrauded when neither her name nor that of her husband came out on the list of people to be interviewed. Upon the realisation of this, she called him and he assured her that by September another recruitment exercise will hold. She requested for her money and told him she was no longer interested in the recruitment exercise.
Oduba who paid a total of two hundred and three thousand six hundred naira to the suspect said she was distraught over the situation and pleaded with the Board to help her retrieve the money which she sadly explained was borrowed.
The Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Stephen Odey who was visibly angry expressed his shock and disappointment over the situation. He said the Board will take very stringent measures as this was not only a fraud case but an integrity issue where his name has been tarnished.
According to him, “For trying to soil my name and ruin my integrity I will hand you over to the Police. This young man does not deserve to be a teacher, teachers are meant to be role models.”
Odey further directed that the money be refunded to Oduba Mercy by the culprit within two weeks.
Enjoining the general public to be vigilant in order not to fall into the hands of fraudsters, Odey reiterated that the Board does not receive gratification in the discharge of any of its functions or activities and warned the general public to be weary of some unscrupulous elements who may want to defraud unsuspecting members of the public in the name of the Board.
While confessing to his crime, Eteng who said it was pressure that led him to commit the crime begged the Board for leniency.
“Please Sir, I was under pressure, I got a girl pregnant and I was forced to marry her in Ugep. Please sir I am sorry, I am willing to pay her the money. I have been begging her to give me time to raise the money.”
To serve as a deterrent to others, Ikwa Bassey Eteng was placed on immediate suspension for six months without pay and after which he is to appear before a Disciplinary Committee where a final decision will be taken.
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