Few days after a shocking confession of an official of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, which claimed that a mysterious snake allegedly swallowed N36 million naira, from the Board’s vault, which she made from the sale of scratch cards, another N70m handed over to the Northern Senators Forum has been allegedly swallowed by monkeys in the farm of a ranking senator.
This was revealed to newsmen by Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna) minutes after Senator Abdullahi Adamu was removed as the chairman of Northern Senators forum.
Senator Adamu was accused of mismanaging N70 million belonging to the Northern Senators. Shehu Sani said it was alleged that some monkeys swallowed the money. He said the money was swallowed by the monkeys at the senator’s farm.
Senator Shehu Sani, told newsmen that under Adamu’s leadership, the forum could not account for part of the money inherited from the 7th Assembly.
According to him, it was alleged that the former Chairman of the Forum handed over N70 million to Adamu at the inception of the 8th assembly but part of the money cannot be accounted for.
Sani said “There are some things that some of my colleagues cannot say but I’m not used to holding back what is the truth.
“When we resumed as senators, Sen. Ahmed Lawan tendered the sum of N70 million to the 8th Senate.
“That N70 million was monies gathered by northern senators from the 7th senate. So it was handed over to the 8th senators from northern Nigeria under the 8th Senate.
“I think this country is becoming a huge joke. First of all it was the rodent that drove away the President and we now have snakes consuming about N36 million, and you now you have monkeys,” Sani said.
In a bid to cub examination malpractice, authorities in India’s eastern state of Bihar have asked students not to wear shoes or socks to examinations, BBC reports
The order comes into effect on 21 February when roughly 1.8 million number of 15-year-olds will appear for their high school final exam – the class 10 test. Bihar has long been notorious for students cheating in tests.
Officials said students would also be searched before they enter the exam hall and that they would be monitored by video while writing answers to the exam questions.
In 2016, Bihar state had announced measures such as fines and jail terms to stop cheating in school exams. A 17-year-old top-performing student from the state was arrested after she was suspected of cheating and failed a retest.
In 2013, more than 1,600 students were expelled for cheating in school. And 100 parents were also detained for helping their children cheat in the exams.
After authorities cracked down on cheating in 2016, Bihar’s pass rate fell from more than 70% in 2014 and 2015 to barely 50%. Acing school exams is seen as crucial for a successful career in India.
There are strong indications that the ongoing strike action embarked upon by Non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities in Nigeria might have negative effects on the conduct of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Head of Media and Public Relations of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dr Fabian Benjamin, hinted this in a statement he issued on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
Benjamin said the non-teaching staff of universities were key stakeholders in this year’s UTME and the ongoing strike may upset the mock UTME scheduled for February 26.He said: “We are still hopeful that an amicable resolution of the crisis would be reached before the date of the examination.”
“The unions are our critical stakeholders and their absence would be felt if the issue is not resolved before Monday February 26.”
”We had prayed and work tirelessly to ensure that the strike was called off hence our continued shifting of the dates for the examination.”
Benjamin had earlier clarified that while the board would not take sides and respects the decision of the non-teaching staff, it would however go ahead with the examination as scheduled.“The attention of the board has been drawn to the release by NAN on the board’s mock examination slated for February 26, 2018 where I was quoted to have said the board will go on with the mock examination irrespective of the on going strike by the non academic unions of universities nation wide.
“First, the board wants to appreciate the unions for the support it has given the board in the successes of previous examinations and sympathized with the unions over the present predicaments,” Benjamin stated.
The non-teaching staff union comprise of three main unions including: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-south have resolved to work together to ensure that the party wins the 2019 presidential election.
The party, during its Zonal Executive Committee meeting on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, declared that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has “destroyed the economy, destabilised the nation’s security infrastructure, and made the country to slide into unprecedented suffering”.
The meeting was attended by the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, the PDP governors, former governors, and senators from the South-south.
A statement from the Government House, Port Harcourt, quoted Mr. Secondus to have said in the meeting that Nigeria has collapsed and that the presidential villa was in ruins. The situation, he said, calls for a solemn struggle to salvage the country in 2019.
“This crisis is no longer a laughing matter. The country is coming to an end and we must rescue the nation,” the PDP national chairman said.
He said the PDP governors across the country were performing well, compared with their APC counterparts which he said have failed their people.
“Come 2019, Nigeria will be liberated from the hands of the APC. The APC has lost ground in all the six geo-political zones. We have to take one final step to sack the APC government,” he said.
The Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, was among those who spoke at the meeting.
Mr. Wike, who appealed to PDP leaders to remain focused, said: “APC took power by deceit, but they cannot govern”.
The governor said there was need for free and fair elections for Nigerians to determine the future of the country.
While the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, described the South-south as a “foundation for the revival of the country”, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, called on the party leaders to support Mr. Secondus so that he could work towards party’s victory in 2019.
During the meeting, a minute silence was observed in honour of the victims of violent killings in different parts of the country.
In a related matter, the PDP criticised the statement by the information minister, Lai Mohammed, that Nigeria was in safe hands with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party in a statement on Monday by its publicity secretary said that due to the “incompetence and corrupt proclivities of its current handlers” Nigerians have suffered untold hardship.
“If a minister of information who ought to give the correct state of affairs can announce that a government which collapsed the nation’s once robust economy and plagued it with violence, ethnic division and political tension, is indeed a safe hand, then our nation is in much more trouble under the All Progressives Congress.
“How can anybody say that the same presidency whose incompetence and bad policies are directly responsible for the unabated killings, massive unemployment and job losses, collapse of businesses and even the lingering fuel crisis which has brought untold hardship in the land is indeed a safe hand?
“This is a government under whose watch the nation has become heavily polarised along dangerous fault lines and where citizens now live in fear and mutual suspicion; where citizens are slaughtered by the day by marauders; where hunger and strange diseases ravage the people due to its bad policies.
“The reasonable take-away from the statement of the information minister is that this government has come to its wits end and has no solution for the troubles it caused the nation.’
“More so, the minister’s statement has further exposed the fact that this failed administration is not the least remorseful for the pain it has caused the people, which underpins its arrogance and disdain towards Nigerians,” the opposition party said.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said all unclaimed looted assets including landed properties recovered by the federal government would be sold and the proceeds deposited into government treasury.
The president made this known when he addressed members of Daura Emirate coalition who paid him a condolence visit at his country home, Daura, Katsina State.
President Buhari noted that many suspected looters of government resources had been denying ownership of their ill-gotten properties and assets across the country.
He stated that he was not surprised by the increasing number of those denying ownership or disclaiming the properties traced to them by the various anti-corruption agencies.
“Some years back, one of my schoolmates in the primary school who worked at a cottage company before his demise predicted that we will come to a situation when looters will deny their loots in Nigeria.
“So as a civil servant, you have 10 houses in Abuja and even in Kaduna and abroad, the more you show them the properties the more they will swear that it does not belong to them.
“And we are still following the process, you know democracy you have to follow due process and respect the rule of law.
“If you are following you will hear that some of these looters were arrested, and for those who deny their loots, then instead of what happened before, this time around we will sell those stolen properties and the proceeds will be deposited in government treasury,’’
“If the money is in the government treasury I will see who will come back after we left and reclaim them,’’ he said.
The president pledged that government would ensure availability of fertilizer and other farm inputs to farmers to sustain the successes recorded by the farmers in the previous farming seasons.
He said: “Please tell Nigerians that we are trying our best, and I thank God, the rainy season is blossom, we will try to add more money to farmers, and ensure the availability of fertilizer and other farm inputs.
“We will also continue to reconstruct roads and railways and provide electricity and we promise we will continue to do so.’’
The leader of the coalition, Muhammed Sale, told the President that they were in his resident to condole with him over the death of his two relatives.
The trial of five men who were charged with illegal importation of 661 pump-action guns continued on Monday, with the first defendant, Mahmud Hassan, alleging that the gang paid N1m to security agents to smuggle in the gun consignment at Apapa Port, Lagos.
Hassan made the allegation in a video played in court on Monday by the prosecution.
The video was played in a trial-within-trial to test the voluntariness of the statement made by Hassan while in the custody of the Department of State Services.
Hassan’s lawyer, Yakubu Galadima had, at the previous hearing, opposed the move by the prosecution to tender his client’s statement as an exhibit, contending that he was tortured to make the statement.
Justice Ayokunle Faji had then ordered a trial-within-trial to test the voluntariness of the statement.
At the Monday proceedings, the prosecution played a video of how Hassan was interrogated by DSS operatives.
The clip indicated that the interrogation was conducted on March 27, 2017, between 2 pm and 2.45 pm.
The prosecution tendered the video clip in court through a DSS operative, Jaiye Emmanuel.
The video captured Hassan as saying while being quizzed that, “I gave N1m to facilitate the moving of the container out of the port, but it is not because of the guns,”
When Mamadu was asked how the N1m was shared among security agencies, the defendant said, “The examiners were given N200,000, C.I.O. N100,000, enforcement N200,000; police, SSS, between N20,000, N25,000, and N30,000; the toll gates, N200,000, exit gate, N20,000, and final gate, N50,000.”
The clip also captured Hassan telling his interrogators that he first billed the owner of the consignment N3.8m when he was first told that the container contained steel doors, but raised the cost of clearing the consignment to N4m when he was told that the consignment included 661 pump-action guns.
Hassan is standing trial alongside Oscar Okafor, Donatus Achinulo, Matthew Okoye, said to be at large, and Salihu Danjuma.
They were arraigned by the Federal Government on June 14, 2017 for allegedly importing 661 pump-action rifles into the country without lawful authority.
In the eight charges pressed against the defendants, the Attorney General of the Federation said the defendants brought 661 pump-action rifles into the country from Turkey through the Apapa Port in Lagos, using a 40-feet container, which they falsely claimed contained steel doors.