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WAEC: 1.6m Candidates Register For 2021 WASSCE Exams

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The West African Examination Council (WAEC), says 1.6 million candidates are expected to participate in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) scheduled to begin on august 16.
WAEC’s Head of National Office, Mr Patrick Areghan gave the figure in an interview, yesterday, in Lagos.
Areghan said that the council was working day and night toward accommodating some schools still bothering it with late registration.
He said that the development was taking its toll on council’s operations.
Areghan said ahead of the conduct of the 2021 WASSCE, the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free WASSCE for school candidates, in spite of some challenges.
“As I have always said, conducting examination is not a tea party. It is a huge task and requires collaboration of all critical stakeholders, including the media.
“It requires a lot of preparations and even more, especially in the face of the rising cases of insecurity and the resurgence of Coronavirus pandemic in the country.”
“In conducting this examination, we also want to ensure that the lives of all those involved, including council’s staff, and materials are properly secure.
“Our arrangement for the successful conduct of our upcoming examination, therefore, is in top gear as we are ensuring that we do not leave any stone unturned,” he said.
Areghan noted that examination conduct required money and other resources.
According to him, the entire process of conducting the examination – from printing of examination materials, distributing them and ensuring security, to recruitment of adhoc staff and printing certificates – is a huge financial burden.
Areghan gave the assurance that WAEC would continue to do all it could to stay afloat.
“It is what the council has been doing, and we want to ensure we continue in that excellent tradition.”
He noted that West African School Certificate was internationally accepted and required protection of its integrity.
“Therefore, in order not allow anything reduce that standard, we shall be collaborating with the federal and state ministries of health and education as well as the police and other security agencies.
“This is in a bid to ensure that all precautionary measures are in place before, during and after the examination,” Areghan said.
The HNO said that WAEC members had been meeting to fine-tune strategies that would ensure a hitch-free conduct of the examination.
He urged schools and candidates to get themselves well prepared ahead of the examination, warning that the council would not tolerate any acts capable of undermining the integrity of the examination.
“There is no hiding place for cheats.
“We want to warn schools, students and even supervisors and invigilators that there will be no hiding place for anyone who tries to go against laid down rules for the conduct of this examination.
“We will surely catch that person, no matter where the malpractice is being carried out.
“We have in-built mechanisms to detect every act of cheating; cheats, when caught, will not get their results.
“Even if you cheat in our objective test, we will catch you, using technology. This technology is called the Item Deferential Profile; it has been there for quite sometime,” he said.
The HNO advised parents not to indulge their children and wards in cheating in examinations by providing money to source for the questions from fraudsters.
“We have carried out a lot of sensitisation, reaching out to parents not to give money to their children in an attempt to patronise rogue website operators and other mischievous individuals, who promise to help get to WAEC questions for them, before the examination.
“There is nothing like that. Some even go as far as saying WAEC normally posts questions on the internet.
“This is laughable and misleading. We have tried as much as possible to enlighten the world that there is nothing like ‘miracle Centre.
“This is a creation of the society and not the council.
“It may be existing in their subconscious but does not exist in our dictionary,” he said.
According to him, there has been no episode of leakage of council’s examination questions in Nigeria since the last, many years ago.
He said that what some sections of the public referred to as leakage during conduct of WASSCE, was the work of internet fraudsters, who registered and sat with genuine candidates in the hall.
“They are served the examination papers, they pretend to be writing the examination, while they manage to snap the questions in collaboration with their mercenaries outside.
“But these days, they no longer snap the questions; rather, they connive with some unscrupulous supervisors and invigilators, who help them to snap the questions, using their own handsets, and send, after which the fraudsters put the questions on the internet.
“These same supervisors allow some candidates into the halls with handsets, even when they know it is against the law, all because they have been compromised.
“However, the various ministries of education have been doing a great job in this respect, as they have been taking drastic measures on those found culpable, by either sacking outrightly or demotion,” he said.
The HNO warned that WAEC would not hesitate to hand any suspect over to the police.
“We have a way of detecting those posting these things to the internet and go after them; that is why we always need the collaboration of the police,” Areghan said.

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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