The Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday arraigned four persons accused of hacking into the website of the West African Examinations Council.
The suspects – Samuel Onuora, Patrick Nwodo, Effiong Joseph and Chijioke Nwachu – were arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on a 13-count charge bordering on fraud and cyber crime.
The quartet, according to the prosecuting counsel, Mr P. A. Amadi, illegally gained access into WAEC’s website and printed questions meant for the May/June 2017 Secondary School Certificate Examination, and sold same to students.
Also printed and sold to the students, according to Amadi, were answers to the said questions.
He said that the offences contravened section 28(3) of the Cyber crime Prevention and Prohibition Act 2015.
The accused persons, who were arrested in Uyo, Umuahia, Enugu and Owerri and transferred to the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of their ‘not guilty plea,’ Amadi prayed that they be remanded in Kuje prison, pending the determination of the case against them.
Counsel to the defendants, Mr Christopher Eichie, applied for their bail on the grounds that the offences were bailable.
Arguing further, Eichie reminded the court that the defendants had been in police custody for close to two months.
Justice Dimgba agreed with Eichie’s submission, and admitted the defendants to bail.
He added that the bail was based on self-recognizance of the defendants’ counsel, and ordered him (counsel) to deposit his Call to Bar certificate with the court.
He, however, said that the counsel could apply for the certificate each time it was needed.
The judge also ordered the defendants to provide one surety each, who should be either a businessman or a civil servant.
He adjourned the matter to October 12 for commencement of trial.