November 7, 2017.
Osuji Chima Francis
Dear admission seekers, as you prepare to know the outcome of your fate in the 2017/2018 admissions exercise in the University of Ilorin, which will be released soon, there is something you have to be mindful of at this hour: be cautious.
Admission season is the era where all sort of things happen. It is important to know that when a person is in a state of anxiety and desperation, he/she can easily play into the hands of fraudsters. A lot of awful things have happened to people like you in the recent past. I’m pretty sure you must have heard of a series of accounts of victims of admission scam.
Yes, these things happen on a regular basis, and because of that, I wouldn’t want you to be a victim. I’d like to share an account of what happened to a cousin of mine; a victim of admission fraud.
After making several attempts at securing a slot for him, it all turned out to be an exercise in futility. That year, Unilorin admissions exercise was a tug of war. We did everything legit to get him in, but nothing positive came through. In my cousin’s contemplation, he believed our approach was rather ineffectual and out of touch with convention called ‘admission runs.’
Out of anxiety, he came in contact with a messiah figure known as Mr. Laughter; a self-styled admissions agent for selected Nigerian universities (including the University of Ilorin).
About Mr. Laughter
Mr. Laughter, so-called, is an individual who claims to be well connected to top guns in the university system. He “specializes’ in registering candidates for external examinations. He also ‘offers’ primary and auxiliary services designed to secure admission for his clients.
In fact, he portrays himself as a God-fearing figure. He’s widely known for playing recorded sermons of popular pastors in Nigeria and the world. Mr. Laughter is also known for his motivational talks to his target audience in the face of hopelessness. He’d tell you this: “Did you listen to what Pastor X said? You have to believe in the God of possibilities. You must claim it for your admission…”
With this reputation, unsuspecting admission seekers are tempted to find no reason to doubt his ability to deliver the Holy Grail (admission). For this, they’re willing to pay prescribed sums just to get the job done at all cost.
Unfortunately, they end up paying the price of being foolish, anxious, and desperate; including my cousin.
Back to my Cousin’s Story
This will be his third attempt at applying to run a degree program in the University of Ilorin. I guess he’s obsessed with the Better by Far university. Well, he has had an encounter with this Mr. Laughter during his first attempt.
On that fateful day, he went out to do some photocopy of his credential at a certain business center in his neighborhood. Right on the wall of this business outlet is a banner that reads: “Say no to admission tears. Admission into Uniben, Unilag, Unibadan, ABU, OAU, Unilorin, LASU, fully guaranteed. Laughter Education Consult is the solution.”
As expected of a desperado, my cousin sought to meet with this problem solver who has the power to put a smile on the faces of admission seekers. After his conversation with Mr. Laughter, he was convinced that a solution to his problem was in sight.
One of the reasons he adduced for believing in the whole fiction was that, this Mr. Laughter of a man has nothing but religious materials carefully arranged on shelves in his business outlet.
In fact, Mr. Laughter was reported to have reiterated what a popular Nigerian pastor had stated in an audio feed during the conversation. As such, my cousin was willing to pay the sum of forty-thousand naira, being money for the so-called ‘admission runs.’
The first pointer my cousin failed to recognize was that, will a true Man of God or any God-fearing person encourage or partake in admission runs? Day and night, the young lad kept on disturbing his poor mother for the money.
This is a widow struggling to make ends meet from her petty trade. My cousin happens to be her first child out of three, and a replica of her late husband. In the end, she bowed to his pressure and gave him the money for the admission runs.
To cut the long story short, it all turned out to be a scam of the highest order.
Forty-thousand naira went down the drain just like that. As soon as Mr. Laughter collected the money, what followed next were stories upon stories, which worsened my cousin’s frustration. Quite sadly, he didn’t stand any chance of getting into the university system that year.
What Later Became of Mr. Laughter
Mr. Laughter is currently behind bars, for defrauding an admission seeker of Five hundred thousand naira. Unilag was the destination point this time around.
Unfortunately for him, the father of his victim is well connected to the powers that be. At the behest of this angry parent, some uniformed men raided his home on a Saturday morning.
They had him arrested and placed in detention without trial.
The most fascinating thing about Mr. Laughter’s nemesis was that, before he was whisked away by the security operatives, the victim’s dad made a demand to the effect that, his boys won’t take him away if any member of his family will stand in as surety. He also demanded that the surety will refund his money within seven days.
Guess what? Nobody came to his rescue. And so, he was taken away, leaving behind a wife and a baby.
It has been reported that Mr. Laughter has been in this fraudulent business for years. A story was told of how he swindled some GCE candidates by way of fake registration.
Upon arriving at the venue, these candidates were told during accreditation that their names were not in the official list.
You can imagine how devastating they must have been. It was the greatest shock of their lives.
It is said that 99 days for the thief, a day for the owner. Since curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost. That’s the sad end of the ‘miracle worker,’ Mr. Laughter.
What You Must Know About Admission Runs
Admission runs is an illegal transaction that requires paying a certain amount of money in order to be offered admission into a university. This type of business runs contrary to public policy.
In other words, you can’t bring an action in court against the culprit because of the illegality of the transaction. This is one reason admission scammers are bold to make such demands because they know you can’t take legal action against them.
By implication, both the admission victim and the scammer will be guilty of the offence if brought to court. In the eyes of the law, the victim has aided and abetted a crime. This is why some people deploy other means to seek redress howbeit illegal.
As far as Unilorin admission is concerned, whoever ask you to pay money for admission simply wants to scam you. Watch out for their usual rhetoric such as: “Listen, admission is very tough in Unilorin. It’s not a matter of what you score but who you know. There are several people involved in this deal. The money will be used to settle them. To prove that this transaction is not a fraud, pay half of the money, when your name comes out, you pay the balance…”
Don’t fall for it. You must do all you can within the ambit of the law to secure admission. Endeavor to visit the official university website for updates (unilorin.edu.ng). Better still, if you can make it down to Ilorin, try to obtain firsthand information from the admissions office or the Student Affairs Unit for the latest development in that regard.
It’s okay to worry and feel anxious about the delay in releasing the first batch of successful candidates. You need to tarry for a while. One can’t be faster than one’s shadow. The list will surely be released at the time the university management deems appropriate.
It’s not illegal to route your credential through people in the university community who might be of help to you. It’s perfectly normal to do so. You never can tell where help might come from.
Like they say, do your best and leave the rest for God. Admissions offer is not a do or die affair. I believe in the saying that when the time for something comes, no force in the universe can stop it.
However, resist the temptation from people like Mr. Laughter asking you to pay money in order to secure admission. It’s all a scam. Flee from it in order to avoid stories that touch the heart.
Osuji Chima Francis is a 500 level student of Law at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara state. You can reach him on 08036543643 or via his email: email@example.com
November 7, 2017.