From the Courts
January 11, 2013
Jailed Nigerian was never student of university – registrar

Registrar of the All Saints University Kelvin Malcolm has disclosed that the Nigerian who committed fraud by pretending to be the son of a Vincentian woman was not a student at the university, as he claimed he was.{{more}}

Nigerian Macro-manus Ebuka Ugwu was on Tuesday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, sentenced to six months imprisonment for presenting a Form A passport application and birth certificate in the name of Janet Jackson, pretending that Jackson was his mother.

He was slapped with an additional three months custodial sentence for falsely representing himself to immigration officer Shawn Bradshaw, to be the son of Janet Jackson of Belair on December 27, 2012.

Speaking to the court at the request of Senior Magistrate Donald Browne, Malcolm revealed that Ugwu was “never really” enrolled at the school, because his fees had never been paid.

According to Malcolm, Ugwu was granted entrance to the University in February 2012, by the admissions department in Canada.

He explained that once acceptance to the University is granted, students coming from countries such as Nigeria, who require a visa to enter St Vincent, would apply for the entry visa.

Malcolm said Ugwu was granted an entry visa to the state between December 2011 and January 2012.

Ugwu told the court in earlier appearances that he had received a scholarship in Nigeria to attend the University and that he was given the assurance that matters would be taken care of financially.

“On granting the visa, he should have arrived for the January semester, but because his fees were not paid, he was transferred to the May semester,” Malcolm explained.

However, Malcolm said Ugwu arrived in the state in February 2012, three months prior to his expected time of arrival.

On his arrival here, Ugwu informed the school that his fees were pending, but assured them they would be paid.

“He was granted an extension for legal stay. At the start of May, fees were still not paid. He gave us the promise that it would arrive in a few days. Days and weeks passed and nothing,” Malcolm said.

Malcolm further added that during the time Ugwu was here, the Dean of the school allowed him to attend classes at the University to bide time. Malcolm however noted that Ugwu was never an official student.

Following the decision to let Ugwu attend classes, Malcolm said the Nigerian did not spend a lot of time at the school.

After school officials realised that the fees were not forthcoming, Malcolm said they were advised to bar Ugwu from attending the classes.

Prior to that decision, Malcolm said the Dean had informed Ugwu that he should return to Nigeria.

In light of his dilemma, Ugwu told the court that he had to provide for himself financially.

During his time here, Ugwu attended the same church as Janet Jackson, and after some time, he was taken to live with her.

Ugwu, who wept openly in court following his sentence, will only do six months in prison since the sentences will run concurrently.(KW)