Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday began a manhunt for the management of 45 universities, described by the National Universities Commission (NUC) as illegal, for allegedly swindling unsuspecting members of the public of a whopping N2.1billion.
The universities commission had, in March and October this year, formally informed the anti-graft agency of the existence of some universities that were yet to be recognised and approved by the federal government.
NUC's letter was also accompanied with a formal petition to the EFCC. It is based on that petition that the anti-graft agency began its investigation.
It was also learnt that the EFCC had first invited the management of NUC for questioning, following an allegation and petition of financial misdemeanor against the universities.
Femi Babafemi, EFCC spokesperson, in a telephone interview said that the illegal universities would be investigated by the anti-graft body. "They will all be investigated,and anyone of them found to have collected money from Nigerians will be charged to court."
Investigation revealed that there are over 45 education bodies operating as universities in Nigeria presently.
Some of the universities include The National University of Nigeria, located in Keffi, Nasarawa State, University of Industry, located in Yaba, Lagos, Pebbles University, UK, in Nigeria, Aston University, UK, in Nigeria. The West African Christian University, in Lagos and a host of others scattered all over the country.
The EFCC said preliminary investigation had shown that many innocent Nigerian youths had fallen for the gimmick of the operators of the universities. According to the source, "By our simple arithmetic, these so-called universities have defrauded many Nigerians and we will ensure that they do not go unpunished."