A computer operator, Waribo MacLean, owner of Macsoft Computer Services, has allegedly absconded with the school fees of about 150 students of the Niger Delta University (NDU) in Amassoma, Bayelsa State.
Akelicious gathered that MacLean, who rented a store at the NDU shopping mall located within the campus, posed as an agent registered by the university’s management to help students pay and process their school fee before vanishing into thin air with monies amounting to about N5.1million.
According to one of the victims, who craved anonymity, the victims of the alleged scammer, who is now at large, are mostly students that recently wrote their final examinations at the university.
She said: “I and two of my course-mates wanted to pay our fees, because the deadline for payment was close. We were at the shopping mall to print out a document when we saw the sign indicating that he also helps to pay fees for students.
“When we asked if he was accredited, he said yes, and because his shop was located inside the campus, we didn’t have any reason to doubt him. Since we were busy with our project and exams, we transferred N37, 000 each into the account he provided, that is, N35, 000 school fees and N2, 000 for his charges.
“After we were done with our exams, about a week later, we logged into our portal and were told that we had not paid our school fees. That was when we went to his shop, but did meet him.
“When we called him on the phone, he said that he had transferred the money into the school’s account, but that the transaction was not acknowledged and begged us to give 21 days to have it rectified, only for us to go to his shop and met many students weeping, that MacLean has frustrated them.
“When we inquired, we were told that he had absconded with our schools fees. We called his mobile line, but it was switched-off for days.
“At that point, we had no choice but to report the matter to the school’s management,” she said.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Ndoni Ingezi, said the university had received reports of computer operators defrauding students and was doing its best to help them recover their monies.
He said: “There were complains of students that have paid school fees, but could not access the university’s portal to process their registration. These reports came from Deans and Exams and Records officers.
“So, the university had to pin the portals of the affected students and investigated the matter. That was when we discovered that owners of some of these computer centres.
“Our security unit swung into action, traced and got some these fraudsters to refund the monies they collected from the said students. However, I am not aware of this particular case you have mentioned, but I will inform the relevant authorities of the university to find out and look into the matter.’’
“We have always advised students to go to the ICT centres accredited by the university to pay their fees, but they still continue to petronise centers that are not approved by the university.
“Our system is designed in such a way that you can pay your fees from anywhere around the world, but the condition remains that you must do that with our accredited agents,” he added.