The Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has suspended a primary school teacher, Mr Bassey Eteng, for six months, for allegedly defrauding one Mrs Mercy Oduba, an applicant, of N200,000.
The Chairman of the board, Dr Stephen Odey, announced this in a statement on Thursday in Calabar.
Eteng, a teacher in Migrant Government School, Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area, was said to have defrauded some members of the public of several thousands of naira during the recent board’s recruitment.
According to Odey, one of the suspect’s victims, Mrs Mercy Oduba, said she paid more than N200,000 to get a teaching job for herself and her husband.
The board chairman quoted the victim as saying: “He told me he had a boss who is very close to the chairman and asked me to apply online for the job. I did as he directed me.
“After some days, he sent me a text message that the chairman told his boss that those that had B.Ed should pay N150,000 and those with NCE should pay N100,000 .
“I told him that I did 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 had collected printouts from those who had paid, to give to his boss.
“He showed me an alert on his phone that he had received from another person.
“He also told me that his boss had brought down the amount to N100,000 for those with B.Ed. I told him that 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 the printouts without money.
“He asked me to try and raise the money before the list became full.
“When I got the money, I went to the bank and paid N200,000 into his account for myself and my husband.
“Before then, I had earlier paid the sum of N3,600 which he said was to be used in purchasing a bag of garri for the chairman.’’
According to Odey, the victim said she became suspicious of the transactions when the list of successful applicants was released for interview and neither her name nor that of her husband was on it.
The SUPEB chairman further quoted the victim as saying: “I called Mr Eteng and he assured me that by September another recruitment exercise would hold.
“It was at that point that I requested for my money and told him that we were no longer interested in the recruitment exercise. ‘’
Odey said that the woman pleaded with him to assist her retrieve the money from the teacher and told her that she borrowed the money to finance the project.
He expressed shock and disappointment over the fraudulent behaviour of the teacher, saying that this was not only a fraud case but an integrity issue where his name had been tarnished.
“For trying to soil my name and ruin my integrity I will hand him over to the police. This young man does not deserve to be a teacher; teachers are meant to be role models, ‘’ Odey said.
Ths chairman further directed Eteng to refund the money to Oduba within two weeks.
He also enjoined the general public to be vigilant in order not to fall into the hands of fraudsters, insisting that the board did not receive gratifications in the discharge of any of its functions or activities.
According to him, the suspect had claimed that he was under pressure and pleaded for leniency from the board.
“Please sir, I was under pressure. I got a girl pregnant and I was forced to marry her; so that was why I was searching for money everywhere. It is devil’s work.
“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,” Eteng quoted the teacher as saying.
The board chairman said the suspect had been placed on suspension for six months without pay, and would appear before a disciplinary committee where a final decision would be taken. (NAN)