The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has kick started machinery to close 62 illegal institutions across the country.
Already, ICPC has dragged the proprietor of an illegal university in Enugu State, Professor Chris Okoro, to court.
Prof. Okoro and one Charles Ebue of Richmond Open University, Ltd, Enugu were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Enugu, last week, according to ICPC.
ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, stated that the duo were earlier charged in May, 2013 for operating; an unaccredited academic degree-awarding institution in Enugu.
According to her, the first prosecution witness, Mr Chidi Orji, an operative of ICPC, testified before Justice Liman; that his team of investigators had obtained a warrant from the Federal High Court; Abuja, in May, 2013 to search and seal off the premises of Richmond Open University; Enugu, and about 62 other such institutions across the country.
The witness further informed the court that; activities of the unaccredited university were; noticed following; a review and study of university system carried out by the commission, which revealed the prevalence of many unaccredited, academic degree-awarding institutions in Nigeria.
Orji narrated how the commission obtained a list of such unaccredited institutions from the; National Universities Commission (NUC) and identified Richmond Open University as number 41 on the list.
The witness testified that some of the institutions on the list were; licensed to operate as universities but; were offering unaccredited academic programmes.
He added that other institutions are operating without complying with the provisions of the; Education (National Minimum Standards) and Establishment of Institutions Act, 2004.
The witness further testified that; “the unsuspecting; public were attracted; to study in these universities; without knowing that the academic certificates offered were unaccredited; and worthless for employment or career progression.”
The prosecution witness identified Mazi Okoro as the sole proprietor, vice chancellor and academic instructor; who was awarding national diplomas, higher national diplomas, first degrees; masters’ degrees, and doctorate degrees in various fields including; accounting, criminology and journalism.
ICPC prosecutor, Adenekan Shogunle applied to tender the warrant from the Federal High Court, Abuja; which was; admitted in; evidence and marked as Exhibit 1.
The case was; further adjourned to; December 6, 2017, for; continuation of hearing.