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ICPC, DSS arrest 48 lecturers, security officers, others over JUPEB exam leakage

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..3 VCs quizzed, some suspects granted bail

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have arrested 48 individuals for their alleged illegalities in the conducts of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB).

The joint operation tagged ‘Operation Combo’ conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, led to the arrests of lecturers, security officers, workers and students from some of the participating universities in the exam.

Operation Combo was simultaneously carried out by the operatives of ICPC and DSS in seven states after extensive monitoring of tutorial schools allegedly known for notoriously compromising JUPEB examinations. This has led to the arrest of the President of Tutorial School Owners (ATSO).

The operation, a consequence of sustained period of surveillance and undercover investigations spanning several weeks, led to multiple arrests of suspects including parents of candidates of the exam.A statement by ICPC’s Spokeswoman, Azuka Ogugua, said that lecturers and others involved in examination malpractices and other illegalities in the participating institutions have also been arrested.

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The suspects were arrested from Wellspring University, Benin, Edo State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State and Crown-Hill University, Ilorin, Kwara State. Again the raid of tutorial centres by operatives in McPherson and Precious Cornerstone universities in Ibadan and Ilara-Epe, in Oyo State respectively, led to more arrests of suspects.

Credible intelligence gathered during the operations showed active connivance of the parents of the students and the management of the universities.

Three current Vice-Chancellors have been invited by ICPC for their roles in the unchecked and massive malpractices reported.

It was revealed that syndicated social media platforms were created by the facilitators for leaking questions and circulating answers to students for a fee during examinations.

Investigation also revealed that candidates, who are mostly minors, allegedly paid between N350,000 to N500,000 each to the suspects in the various tutorial schools to engage in the illegalities.

The cartel, in connivance with the coordinators of the examination centres and other management staff of the institutions, deliberately allowed security lapses to enable the candidates go into examination halls with smart-phones and other electronic devices to send question papers to waiting groups online and subsequently, receive answers to questions thereby engaging in massive malpractices.

Some of the suspects arrested have been granted administrative bail while investigation is on-going.

JUPEB is an advanced level educational examination that qualifies its candidate for admission into 200 level in any Nigerian and foreign universities through direct entry. It is coordinated by the University of Lagos and has up to 10 accredited universities.

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Updated: Gunmen rape, kill polytechnic beauty queen in Ogun

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A student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Happiness Odeh, has been murdered after winning Miss MAPOLY on August 3.

The victim, an ND II student of Mass Communication, was reportedly kidnapped while on her way to Ipara, in Ode Remo of Ogun State, on Tuesday evening, by some gunmen who allegedly raped her before killing her.

The MAPOLY Students Union President, Sodiq Ajani, on Saturday confirmed the incident in Abeokuta.

Ajani in a statement he signed with the Public Relations Officer, Joy Okolie, said the deceased was kidnapped while she was going to visit a movie location.

“Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Students Union (MAPSU) announces the untimely death of Miss Happiness Odeh, a Mass Communication student of MAPOLY.

“According to reports, she was abducted along Iperu road to her destination. The deceased left Abeokuta three days ago to visit a movie location at Ipara, Ode-Remo, with the consent of her parents.

“Contrary to the rumours flying around, her death is not related to her status as the new Miss MAPOLY. She won the award on the 3rd of August and the movie location she attended has nothing to do with the beauty pageantry on campus.

“We commiserate with her family, friends and colleagues. May Almighty God grant us all the fortitude to bear this painful loss. Continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord,” the statement read.

The union president added that the murderers took away the victim’s phone.

The police, he said, had commenced investigations into the matter.

Ajani also said the body of the slain student had been deposited at the morgue of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.

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Akwa Ibom Monarch Sentenced To Death

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The Village Head of Efen Ibom in Ika LGA in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Essien Matthew Odiong, has been sentenced to death by hanging.

The monarch, who stood trial on four counts of conspiracy, was convicted for the murder of one Udoma Udo Ubom.

According to the verdict delivered by Justice Edem Akpan of the Akwa Ibom State High Court, the monarch was found guilty of murder after the deceased was injected with a chemical substance which led to his death on the 26th of April, 2017.

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The events leading to his death were preceded by the late Ubom, being accused of wizardry by his brothers, who was then ordered by the Village Head to take an oath to swear in order to prove his innocence.

The court held that, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the village in 2017 and returned in 2019, when he was arrested by the Police.”

According to the court, the chemical substance administered via syringe on the deceased buttocks was his cause of death.

The judge sentenced the monarch, 82, to death by hanging for murder, seven years imprisonment with hard labor for overseeing an unlawful trial by ordeal and three years imprisonment for conspiracy with others who are yet to be apprehended by the authorities.

Odiong has 60 children with his 12 wives.

Daily Trust

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We Are Not Going On Strike, IPMAN Counters Threat By Southeast Faction

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged Nigerians to disregard the threat by some marketers in the South-East zone of shutting down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

Mr Edet Umana, IPMAN Chairman, Cross River, made this known in a statement on Saturday.

Umana denounced the purported threat of shutting down the depots due to alleged police harassment by some marketers in the zone.

He maintained that IPMAN members in the zone were not interested in causing further disruption in the supply of petroleum products following the challenges faced recently across the country.

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Umana said: “The leadership issue of IPMAN has been settled by a Supreme Court judgement delivered in Abuja on Dec. 14, 2018.

“The judgment read by Justice Musa Muhammad in suit No. SC15/2015 recognised Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and Alhaji Danladi Pasali as National President and Secretary of IPMAN respectively.”

According to him, acting on this judgment, the police has invited some persons in the Southeast claiming to be a faction of IPMAN for a meeting over the issue.

Umana said the move which was directed by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, was aimed at finding a lasting solution to the leadership tussle.

He said their failure to obey the judgment of the court prompted the intervention of the police based on the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Umana enjoined IPMAN members to go about their respective businesses without any fear of intimidation.

He said the association would continue to support efforts of the Federal Government to ensure smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country. (NAN)

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