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WAEC Arrests Over 20 Exam Officials For Malpractice

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No fewer than 20 school officials, allegedly aiding and abetting examination malpractice, have been arrested by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in its ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates.

The Council said that the arrests were made in various parts of the country.

The Head, National Office (HNO) of council, Mr Patrick Areghan, disclosed this on the sidelines of a monitoring exercise he carried out in some schools on Thursday in Lagos.

According to him, the WAEC has since handed over all the culprits to the police for prosecution.

Areghan vowed that the council would do everything possible to ensure that their prosecution was followed to logical conclusion.

“The issue of examination malpractice can no longer be treated with kid gloves.

“It is no longer business as usual, as it has completely eroded morals and values in our society. It is taking a dangerous dimension, of which, if not tackled will bring our country to its knees.

“Now, since the commencement of this examination, we have deployed our technology, designed to catch examination cheats and we are happy at the results we have gotten so far.

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“For instance, in Ibadan, Oyo, where we have our zonal office, which takes care of Osun, Kwara and Oyo itself, we made three arrests in a school and for the purpose of confidentiality, I will not mention the name.

“There, a supervisor at a centre, principal and invigilator were all arrested.They were arrested for allegedly snapping and posting the questions to some platforms, thereby, aiding and abetting examination malpractices.’’

He said: “Then, in Maiduguri, a supervisor and principal of a school, were both arrested and handed over to the police too.

“In Umuahia, a teacher and a supervisor were arrested in a particular school and they have been handed over to the police.

“In Abeokuta, a school proprietor was the first to be caught at the beginning of this examination on May 8, snapping and posting question papers,” he said.

Areghan described the act as a monumental disgrace.

The WAEC official, said that the proprietor and a supervisor had since been arrested and also handed over to the police.

He further disclosed that the same situation was also recorded at

Osogbo, where a principal, invigilator and chief supervisor were arrested for the same offence.

According to him, in Kaduna too, a supervisor and an examination official in a school who were caught in the act, were arrested and handed over to the police.

He explained that the school, which was ceded to Kaduna was supposed to be Kano, but was ceded because it was closer to Kaduna.

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Areghan said that the arrests would continue until the end of the examination.

He urged candidates not allow their future to be compromised by persons who did not wish them well, by promising to assist them pass their examination through illegal means, stressing that WAEC’s examinations could never be accessed illegally.

According to him, all of the culprits caught in the act may have been paid by the unsuspecting candidates and their parents, promising to assist them pass the examination.

“I want to counter this statement that some people are fond of making, which is that our examination questions always leak.

“That does not exist. Our examination is always safe and secured until they get to the candidates in the hall.”

He asserted that WAEC examination questions don’t ever leak and cautioned the media to stop using the word “leak”.

What actually happens is that, once the examination is about to start, we give the question papers to the supervisors, one hour before commencement, so that they can travel from the collection point, to the various schools, where they will administer the examination.

“What happens?

“Immediately they get to the exam hall, they will open the pack in the name of distributing to candidates and they will snap and post to various designated platforms- WhatsApp, Instagram and others.

“Such persons are members of a syndicate group who collect money,’’ he said.

According to him, once the examination is already in progress, anyone that takes pictures of the papers and posts will be detected.

Areghan noted that the council had a method of detecting who snapped, who posted, who it was posted to and which candidate’s question booklet was posted.

According to him, that is when the council swings to action by rounding all of them up and subsequently handing them over to the police.

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You have been following me around for this monitoring

“You saw me telling these children that they will hardly have time to access any materials snapped and posted on any platforms because they are already in the hall writing the examination.

“From what we have seen so far today at the schools we visited, I will say that the examination has been going on smoothly. There has not been any challenge beyond our control.

“Of course you will come across persons who will want to prove smart by cutting corners and trying to get things done unethically, but we have been able to beat them to it.

“There are though, some that we do not bother ourselves with, as we will deal with such administratively.’’

He noted that only hard work was the way out to a stable and progressive country, adding that schools should continue to stick to academic excellence and nothing less, in order to sustain quality education.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that schools visited for the monitoring on Thursday included ST and T in Ikeja, Ikeja Senior High School as well as State Senior High School among others.

 

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Wike Lists His Priorities As FCT Minister To British High Commission

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has told the British High Commission in Abuja that security, agriculture and job creation are among the top priorities of the FCT Administration.

The minister made this statement when he received a delegation from the British High Commission in Nigeria led by the British High Commissioner, Richard Montgomery, on a courtesy visit to the FCT Administration on Tuesday.

The British High Commissioner had sought to understand the priorities of the FCT Administration for the development of the FCT in order to improve bilateral relations.

Responding, Wike said the creation of jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, is being prioritized to ensure that the teeming youth in the FCT are provided with a source of livelihood. He added that the FCT Administration, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has also provided the necessary support to the security agencies to address the security challenges in the FCT.

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He said the ongoing provision of infrastructure in the Abuja city center and the Area Councils, apart from accelerating the development of the FCT, are also avenues for job creation for the youths who would be engaged during the course of the projects.

According to the Minister, “When you say priority, creation of jobs is key. If you are not able to create jobs, of course, you know what that will mean for the teeming youths. So, we believe that the creation of jobs is not only in the white-collar sector. Through these activities, many of the youths are employed.

“If you go to the area councils today, there are lots of jobs going on that have created opportunities for the youths to be employed. So, the creation of jobs is a priority for this administration.”

Stressing that the FCT has vast arable lands for agriculture, the FCT Minister also expressed the readiness of the FCT Administration to collaborate with investors in the agricultural sector to create employment for youths and promote food security.

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We have to remove the youths from the streets. So, we believe that in partnering with investors in the area of agriculture, that will also create jobs. So, that, in fact, to us, is a major priority. We will be interested if we can see partners in these areas,” the minister stressed.

Wike also added that the FCT is open to investments and collaborations in the tourism sector to make the city a major tourist attraction.

Speaking further on the security challenges in the FCT, the Minister stated that remarkable improvements have been achieved in the last few months due to the level of support and commitment of the security agencies.

The FCT Minister, who blamed the heightened insecurity in the FCT in the recent past on the activities of kidnappers and bandits, from the states sharing borders with the FCT, noted that the security agencies have done quite well to tame the activities of the bandits and other criminal elements.

He expressed confidence that the improved security in the FCT will also increase investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital.

We cannot say that we have been able to solve all the problems, but it is important to know that we are making progress, particularly on the issue of security, which has been a source of concern, not only to residents but the diplomatic community,” Wike said.

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Alleged Diversion Of Palliatives: Sacked Kogi Council Boss, Atawodi Breaks Silence

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Hassan Atawodi, the sacked Transition Chairman of Ofu Local Government Area, has opened up on why he was removed.

The Secretary to Kogi State Government, Folashade Arike Ayoade, had on Monday announced the sack of Atawodi in a statement by Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, for allegedly diverting palliatives meant for his local government.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Atawodi said he was removed from office courtesy of some political leaders who do not like him.

He added that the palliative meant for Ofu LGA was not handed over to him, saying, “How can I divert what was not given to me?”

While noting that it was a gang-up against him, as there was no time he diverted any palliatives meant for his people, Atawodi stressed that he was denied the clearance letter that would have allowed him to collect the palliative.

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“My travails began from the first day I was appointed, possibly because I was not the choice of some alleged power brokers in my local government. After signing for the palliative for Ofu, the next day I could not get the clearance letter because of orders from above.

“Upon assumption of office, I appointed my five aides and six special advisers. Later, they reported me to the powers that be that I made the appointments without consulting them.

“They went to the extent of sending pictures of somebody I appointed to say he was a member of an opposition party.

“I was asked to meet with the Leader of the local government in the company of the House of Assembly member, the local government, and the zonal party chairmen, which I did and asked that they should please forgive me, following their report, with a call on them to please join me so that we can work together.

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“Following my appeal to those who reported me over the appointment, I was asked to dissolve the aides I appointed, which I did by going on air as promised and dissolved all the SSAs.”

The former Transition Chairman said he is innocent of the allegations of diversion of palliatives leveled against him, calling on the State Governor of Kogi State to look into the matter critically, as the said palliative was never handed over to him.

Continuing, he said, “I was not given a palliative to share. On hearing about the palliative, I went to the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, who said there is an instruction for me not to be given the palliative.

“The ommissioner asked me to put a call across to the Deputy Governor before it could be released. I called from the morning through till about 4:00 pm on the said day, without my calls being picked.

“I later went back to the Commissioner, who said the Deputy Governor is yet to call. I had to leave to return the following day.

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“The next day, upon arrival at the Government House, I saw the DLG, SLG, and the APC Chairman for my local government. The commissioner said he has been directed to release the palliative to them.

“I was asked by the Commissioner to remain calm, particularly that with the several leaders I have in my local government, he doesn’t think I should bother myself with how the palliative would be shared.

“After they moved the palliative from the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, I called the DLG to ask about the whereabouts of the palliative, that is the 1200 bags of rice. He said it was off-loaded at the residence of the Zonal Chairman in Ejule. I asked if it was safe there, as I would have guaranteed that if brought to the Local Government Secretariat, it would be safer and would reach the intended beneficiaries.

“I was at the Governorship Tribunal in Abuja yesterday when somebody called me to inform me that a letter of replacement was being typed to replace me, after which I was later told that I had been replaced.”

While the former Transition Chairman said he has taken the power play against him as the will of God, he lamented that he was surprised to read on social media that his sack was connected with the alleged diversion of palliatives that were never given or handed over to him.

“My hands are clean, and I know that my God will fight for me. Since my assumption, it’s been one battle to another. The DSS are all aware of my travails.”

The former Transition Chairman called on Gov. Ahmed Usman Ododo to constitute an investigation into the reason behind his removal, pointing out that it could not have been over a palliative that was not handed over to him.

 

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FX Crisis: Dollar May Exchange For N4000 By End Of 2024 — Ozekhome Warns

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Human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, says the Dollar may exchange for N4000 by the end of 2024 should the Naira keep falling against the Dollar at its current rate.

Ozekhome stated this in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday.

The senior lawyer said there are no visible signs that the Naira won’t fall any further.

He said, “Just today, we paid out another $400 million that was so identified. In terms of the reserves, it has gone up to $34 billion.

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“If we are not careful we will get to the situation in Ghana, where they were carrying cedis in baskets to the market to go and buy things and put in their pockets.”

”Why have BDCssit under the trees and tables control our economy.”

Ozekhome stated that the government needs to do everything in its power to alleviate the suffering by going back to the drawing board.

He expressed surprise at the current administration blaming its predecessors for the economic state of the nation

”But to me, it is most embarrassing when I see officials of this government blaming the Jonathan government that left office in 2015, nearly 10 years ago.

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”Ironically blaming his own predecessor whom they took over from in the APC government. I think everything has gone wrong,” he said

Ozekhome noted that the current administration’s slogan of renewed hope translates to poverty.

This is not renewed hope, this is renewed poverty.”

Recall that recently, the scarcity and demand for dollars have led to a significant decline in the Naira. The problem according to analysts has been compounded by persistent foreign exchange supply challenges and a significant demand backlog.

But, the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, in his MPC meeting announcement on Tuesday said he ”will do what it takes” to address the monetary issue equally promising to generate more liquidity for the forex market.

”Before the end of this year, if we are not careful, the Naira may exchange for N4000 to the dollar because e there is nothing in place,” he added.

 

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