Against the backdrop of security reports of plans by some of the political gladiators in the Anambra Governorship tussle to cause mayhem in the February 6, 2010 gubernatorial elections in the state, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo, has summoned all the governorship candidates to force Headquarters Abuja for a meeting.
According to sources, those summoned include PDP gubernatorial candidate Professor Chukwuma Soludo, APGA Candidate Governor Peter Obi, Chief Andy Uba of Labour party, Chief Chris Ngige of Action Congress, Mrs Ekwunife of Progressive People Alliance and others of the ANPP, and other political parties.
Also summoned by IGP for the meeting are the chairman and secretaries of all the prominient political earties in the state – the Assistant Inspector General of Police incharge of the zone (4), the commissioners of police of Anambra State and neighbouring states where security personnel for the elections are likely to be mobilised from, are also expected to be in the meeting.
The Tide gathered that security reports available to the police High Command indicate that arms and ammunition are being stock piled, kidnapping strategies are being put in place and hoodlums are being recruited to cause mayhem.
Sequel to the termination of a lease agreement it entered with Yelwata Trading Company few weeks back, the Benue State government has ordered the immediate closure of Taraku Oil Mills with all the staff of the firm laid off.
The decision of the state government to close down the plant was conveyed to over 200 staff and management of the organisation by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, Mr. Benjamin Vember, at the company’s premises.
Vember said government’s decision to fold up the Mill was prompted by the failure of the agreement it entered with Yelwata Trading Company.
Ekiti State governor, Engr. Segun Oni has said that the government gave financial autonomy to the state judiciary saying that the motive was to strengthen the judicial arm of government and rid it of undue executive interference.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti recently while administering oath of office and allegiance on four newly appointed judges in the State, Engr. Oni said it was always better for each arm of government to be independent of each other, saying such would promote democracy and good governance.
The newly appointed judges that were sworn-in are Mr. Adewale Kayode Fouroure, an Ibadan-based legal practitioner, Mr. Lekan Adekanye Ogunmoye, former Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Olusegun Isaac Ogunyemi, former Registrar, Ekiti State Judiciary and Mr. Adekunla Adegoriola Adeleye.
Former Minister of Petroleum, Professor Tam David West and Head of Department of History, University of Ibadan, Professor Christopher Ogbogho have advised the Federal Government to put its house in order instead of protesting US claim that Nigeria is a terrorist country.
Both dons at different fora, condemned the protest by the FG, saying that US had the right to declare any country that posed a security threat to it, a terrorist country.
Describing the protest as unnecessary and mere waste of time, they said the FG should do something urgent to address the problem.
Professor Ogbogbo said the stance of the US may have been arrived at having considered incessant religious intolerance in the Northern parts of the country.
The FG according to the don, should, as a matter of urgency strive hard to check the internal intermittent religious crises in the northern parts of the nation.
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and foremost nationalist leader. Anthony Enahoro are among dignitaries scheduled to attend the commissioning today of the Arafat Mosque in Auchi, Edo State.
Also, a lecture entitled “Basic Facts about Glorious Quran will be delivered by an Islamic scholar and the Chief Imam of Auchi Kingdom, Prof. Zakanya Oseni who is also the Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin.
A statement by Alhaji Gisani Asesuta for the Oteri in council said the Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijawude Oluleuse II was expected to chair the occusion.
Kwara State government has concluded plans to employ more medical personnel this year in her ongoing efforts to deliver quality medical services to the residents in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Ladi Hassan, who disclosed this to newsmen while speaking on the activities of the state government in health sector, added that the action became imperative because the state government last year spent N700 million to renovate all the state-owned hospitals across the state.
The action, according to the commissioner, was to effectively reposition the state health sector as much needed viable alternative to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and other private hospitals in the state.
He noted that medical doctors, nurses and laboratory scientists would be employed by the state government, stressing that those employed would be posted to different parts of the state.
He disclosed that the state government has spent so much in health sector and as such Dr. Bukola Saraki’s administration was committed to improving the standard.
Hassan opined that his visit to various state-owned hospitals in various parts of the state, has given him first hand information on the problems they are facing.
There were indications yesterday that the bomb carrier who got injured on December 22, 2009 bomb explosion at Logemo building at Onipany, along Ikorodu road, Lagos, might have been transferred from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), to an undisclosed hospital.
His movement as reliably gathered, was part of security measures put in place by the Lagos State police command to ensure no intruder got to him.
The Tide reliably gathered that on two occasions, some unidentified persons had visited the hospital requesting to see Olayinwola Ahmed. But before nurses at the Intensive Care Unit could reportedly contact plain clothes policemen who were keeping watch over him, the visitors had disappeared.
Although police sources told The Tide that proper investigation into the explosion would commence last week, information gathered revealed that the 27-year-old suspect was not yet in a sound condition to answer questions posed at him. A source told The Tide yesterday that the suspect was not coherent with words yet.
Osun State election petition tribunal will resume sitting to continue hearing on the petition by the Action Congress (AC) candidate Mr. Bani Adegbosole against the election of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in the April 14, 2007 election.
The five-man panel was forced to suspend sitting last October due to the national strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
Before the forced vacation Aregbosola and the AC had invited over 80 witnesses and tendered exhibits in support of their petitions.
The opposition party which had been agitating for continuation of hearing on the petition at alternative venue outside the premises of the Osun State Judiciary during the strike is expected to wind up its case any time from now to pave way for the respondents to open their defence.
NPC Warns Against Interfering With Pre Test Exercise
The National Population Commission, NPC, in Kwara State has cautioned stakeholders to refrain from undue interference in the second pre-test census exercise in the state.
The second pre-test census exercise is part of the preparations for the main census exercise billed to take place in May 2022.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training of supervisors and enumerators for the exercise in Ilorin yesterday, the NPC Federal Commissioner for the state, Malam Abdulrazaq Gidado, also charged stakeholders to allow field functionaries to carry out their duties professionally for a good outcome.
The Federal Commissioner appealed to state and local governments concerned, traditional institutions, and communities to support the commission in carrying out the second pre-test census exercise by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to be enumerated.
He said the pre-test exercise will be carried out in four local government areas of the state, namely, Kaiama, Ilorin South, Offa and Oke-Ero.
The Federal Commissioner explained that pre-test census exercise is usually conducted before the actual census and primarily aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires, data collection methods, and manual for fieldwork among others.
He assured Nigerians that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the commission’s field functionaries are properly kitted and trained to observe all Covid-19 protocols throughout the period of the exercise as prescribed by the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on Covid-19.
Man Jailed 15 Years For Stealing 16 Phones, Other Items In Adamawa
A man in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for breaking into houses and stealing 16 phones and other items.
Abdulazeez Adamu, 22, from Nasarawo, Jimeta, was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Court 1, Jimeta, which established that he, along with two cohorts now at large, committed the offence at Bekaji, another residential community within the Jimeta axis of Yola.
The court established that Abdulazeez and the others, while armed with weapons, stole a TV set, an HP laptop, and 16 handsets valued at N734, 000 from a number of residents in their houses, namely Rebeccah Samuel, Rhoda Chiroma, Wedelo Pwamboki, Walia Hamman and Mary Zaro, all residents of Bekaji who jointly reported the thefts to the police on 11th November 2021.
The accused was said to have run out of luck during one of the operations with his cohorts in Karewa extension when they hit a security guard with a cutlass and injured him.
The guard, Muhammad Umar, raised alarm which attracted the occupants and his colleague who was on duty in a neighbouring house and who rushed to the scene, but by which time the convict and his accomplices had fled.
He was later trailed and arrested by vigilantes who were mobilised for the purpose.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Seargent Galeon Nimrod of the Karewa Police Division, called Umar as a witness.
The witness narrated his encounter with Abdulazeez who, under cross-examination, said the witness told the truth.
Consequently, Adamu was jailed for 15 years with the option of N150,000 fine for the offence of theft in a dwelling house and was sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine for being in possession of dangerous weapons.
He is also to pay N500,000 as a compensation fee.
Reading out the verdict, Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Mohammed Digil said, “This court has sentenced you, Abdulazeez Adamu, to 15 years or you pay an alternative fine of N150, 000, for theft and also sentenced you to six months imprisonment for being in possession of dangerous weapons without an option of fine.”
JAMB Tasks Tertiary Institutions On CAPS
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned against offering of admissions to applicants by higher institutions outside the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).
JAMB said apart from distorting the statistics of enrollment into the nation’s tertiary institutions which it noted is required for national planning and development strategies, the conduct is also “a violation of ministerial directive on education policy.”
The JAMB registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, who said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, noted that in spite of the constant warning against such conduct, Nigerian tertiary institutions offered a total of 706,189 ‘illegal’ admissions across universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics between 2017 and 2020.
According to Oloyede, a total of 114 degree-awarding institutions including universities and colleges of education that are affiliated with them conducted 67,795 ‘illegal’ admissions within the period.
He added that a total of 137 National Diploma (ND) certificates awarding institutions such as polytechnics and school of health technologies offered a total of 142,818 ‘illegal’ admissions within the three-year period, while 37 institutions that are categorised as monotechnics offered 5,678 ‘illegal’ admissions.
The JAMB registrar said; “In 2017, the Board introduced the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) as a flowchart to ensure quality control, transparency and credibility of admissions. Among other reasons, it was also meant to completely eliminate human interference, which invariably led to abuse, in the processing of admissions into the nation’s tertiary institutions. The system allows institutions to only admit candidates that meet the requirements as prescribed by individual institutional proprietors and academic Boards/ Senates. The process entails: initiation of the admission of a candidate by the institutional admissions officer after having confirmed the satisfaction of the set criteria; recommendation of the candidate by the head of the institution; approval of the admission by JAMB; acceptance of the admission by the candidate; and printing of the admission letter by the candidate.
“All these are done without hassles or encumbrances. Any process outside this scheme is illegitimate and it renders the admission process null, void and ultra vires. It is rather disappointing that some institutions continue to defy this decision of the National Policy Meeting, ably chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education, that CAPS is the only platform for processing admissions to the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
According Mr Oloyede’s presentation, the top five universities with the highest number of ‘illegal’ admissions offered within the period are the Universities of Jos, Plateau State with 7,600 cases; Benue State University, Makurdi with 6,161 cases; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, with 5,669 cases; Kwara State University, Malete with 4,281 cases and Novena University, Delta State with 3,432 cases.
Among the ND certificate awarding institutions, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, topped the chart with a total of 45,471 cases within three years, and it is closely followed by Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, with 37,828 cases and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with 30,856 cases within the same period.
Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State with 24,335 and 24,335 respectively.
Oloyede said apart from distorting the national statistics, candidates admitted through the irregular admission processes are made to go through difficult times in their efforts to climb the next rung of either their career or academic ladders.
“Sadly, this practice by our institutions has damaged the image of the country as statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and similar agencies are rendered inaccurate by as high as 900 per cent in some cases. This distorts the statistics of the number of students in our tertiary institutions. JAMB is then made to supply radically different figures of entrants for the same year. In addition, misplaced pressure is annually mounted on JAMB to condone (or regularise) such illegal and improper admissions made three or four years earlier by the heads of institutions who in almost all the cases are not the incumbent ones.
“Another absurdity is that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for tertiary education which JAMB provides for the Federal Ministry of Education is fed into the global databank of tertiary institutions and Nigeria continues to publish a low GER record which is far from the reality on ground. Also, one of the unsavoury effects of the undisclosed admissions by tertiary institutions is that it makes planning difficult. As we all know, failure to plan is planning to fail and we cannot overemphasise the importance of proper planning.”
According to Oloyede, beneficiaries of such ‘illegal’ admissions upon graduation are made “victims of deprivations.”
“When the graduates of the illegitimate process need JAMB admission letters to pursue post-graduation endeavours like housemanship, scholarship, enrolment into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, they realise that they are out of sync. Some candidates had been forced in the past to seek Direct Entry into other universities after graduation just because their degrees were not recognised as a result of lack of admission letters at critical stages. The physical, psychological and mental strain on such candidates is better imagined than experienced. This could have been avoided if everyone played the game according to the rules,” Mr Oloyede added.
The JAMB registrar also expressed disappointment over what he described as massive fraud in the conduct of the two A Level entrance examinations in the country- Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) and the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE).
“It is quite disappointing that some of our colleagues were arrested while conniving with various examination syndicates to compromise the noble objectives of these two examinations. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) conducted a sting operation the result of which is monumentally embarrassing,” he said.
As a way of finding a lasting solution to the challenge, JAMB said it has already proposed to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, the desire to establish both A-Level task team and A-Level Qualification Verification Databank, which he noted will serve as repository for verified A-level qualifications in the country.
Meanwhile, the examination body said it has approved the introduction of two more subjects in its examination to be added to the existing 23 subjects for possible combinations by candidates.
The addition of the two subjects- Computer Studies and Physical and Health Education, will “enhance the career prospects of students transiting to tertiary institutions.”
Oloyede said the subjects will be available for candidates taking the UTME examination in 2022.
JAMB said as part of efforts towards curbing some identified “unethical practices” by operators of the accredited computer based testing (CBT) centres, it has resolved to embed the centres’ approved N700 charges for registration purposes in its application form fees.
“These centres are allowed to collect only Seven Hundred Naira (N700.00) as registration charges but they use the opportunity to engage in conduct unbecoming, including extortion, during the exercise. In order to put a stop to such extortion, we propose to make UTME registration henceforth cashless. In other words, JAMB will now be collecting the approved N700.00 registration fee on behalf of the CBT Centres along with its UTME registration fees and then remit what is due to each registration centre to its bank account on a weekly basis or any time frame acceptable to the centre owners. This intervention will block all loopholes through which hapless candidates are extorted by unscrupulous service providers,” the JAMB registrar said.
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