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Monitor disbursement of UBE funds to avoid corruption

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States' refusal to access UBE funds driving up number of out-of school children in Nigeria

A senior lawyer and human right activist, Femi Falana, has called for a proper monitoring and utilisation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Fund.

He stated this in a statement sent to Premium Times on Thursday titled: “Stakeholders Must Monitor Disbursement of N291 Billion Basic Education Fund.”

The UBE fund is an annual grant by the federal government to help states upgrade their primary education facilities in order to provide a good education for children across the nation.

To access this fund, state governments are required to match the federal government’s grant. But many states have ignored this facility even as children study under very deplorable conditions, including having lessons under trees and dilapidated classrooms while the quality of teachers remains low.

The minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday in Kaduna said the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) would be disbursing N142.58 billion to support educational growth in the states.

In his statement, Mr Falana warned that the fund may be diverted by politicians desperately looking for money to buy votes during the forthcoming general election in the country.

He said the World Bank gave Nigeria a grant $611 million (N219 billion) for the UBE scheme.

“I have since confirmed that the federal government has deducted the sum of N71.2 billion from the Paris Club refund, being the outstanding UBEC counterpart fund owed by the 36 states and the federal capital territory as at August 2018,” he said.

Mr Falana had earlier berated the 36 states in Nigeria for failing to access N86.5 billion lying fallow in the UBE account in the Central Bank of Nigeria as at April 30.

According to the lawyer, since members of the political class are not committed to human capital development, “we are compelled to call on all concerned stakeholders in the country to monitor the disbursement and utilisation of the fund.”

Mr Falana, who is also the national president the Peoples’ Alternative Front, said they had resolved to collaborate with UBEC and the Adult Literacy Commission to end illiteracy rate of 60 million citizens in the country.

He said it is essential for the Inspector-General of Police to comply with the provisions of the Compulsory, Free, Universal Basic Education Act by directing state police commissioners to arrest and prosecute parents and guardians who refuse to allow their wards to acquire basic education, which is compulsory from primary to junior secondary school.

“Unless these measures are adopted without any further delay, the UBE fund will be diverted or wasted while the future of the 13.2 million out-of-school children will be doomed to the detriment of political stability and development of the country,” he warned.

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OAU Professor Allegedly Involved In Sex-For-Marks Scandal To Be Arraigned By ICPC

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to arraign a former lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Richard Iyiola Akindele, at the Federal High Court, Osogbo.

Mr Akindele was accused of demanding sex from one of his students, Ms. Monica Osagie, in order to upgrade her academic result.

In a statement by the spokesman of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa,Professor Akindele will be docked on Monday 19th November 2018, on a 3-count charge having been accused of using his position as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting to demand for sexual benefit from a student and fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method course which she supposedly failed in 2017.

The Commission says that his actions were contrary to Sections 8 (1) (a) (ii), and 18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and are punishable under the same sections.

One of the counts reads, “That you, professor Akindele, on or about the 16th day of September, 2017 at Ile-Ife did corruptly ask for sexual benefits for yourself from Ms. Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterwards shown to her by you in the discharge of your official duties as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, to wit; altering her academic grades in the course with code MBA 632- Research Method from fail to pass; and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

The 57-year-old professor has asked for plea-bargain having admitted guilt. He also cited ill-health as a factor that may make him unable to stand the rigours of prison life, notifying the Commission through his lawyer, Omotayo Alade-Fawole.

He pleaded that his prayers for plea-bargain be considered, more so as he was already serving punishment for his offence having been sacked by the university.

Ms. Osagie had earlier expressed a lack of confidence in the capacity of ICPC to give her a fair hearing.
According to the commission, the public announcement of the professors impending arraignment is in fulfillment of its promise to the public to avail them of the outcome of the investigation in due time.

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Traditional Ruler Arrested Over Alleged N15.5m Fraud

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What we're doing to rescue kidnapped party chairman, senatorial candidate, others – Police

THE traditional ruler of Ferowa village in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, Chief Muyideen Folorunso, has been arrested by men of the Ogun State Police Command over an alleged dubious land deal worth N15.5 million.

The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement made available to TribuneOnline, said the arrest of the traditional ruler followed a petition written by the management of a real estate firm against the traditional ruler.

DSP Oyeyemi said the company approached the traditional ruler for the purchase of about 23 acres of land in his domain, which was negotiated for N15.5 million, and the company paid the amount to the suspect after showing them the land.

“Surprisingly, some months after the payment was made, the traditional ruler started selling the same portion of land to another set of people, and before the company knew what was going on, he had sold 17 acres out of the 23 acres.

“As a result of the petition, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, directed the officer in charge Public Complaints Bureau to look into the case and bring the suspect to book.

“The traditional ruler was subsequently arrested, and on interrogation, he admitted collecting the said amount of money from the complainant after showing them the land.

“He stated further that it was when he needed some money for his coronation that he was tempted to sell parts of the already sold land,” DSP Oyeyemi stated.
The police spokesperson said CP Iliyasu had ordered a thorough investigation into the case, and that the suspect would be arraigned in court in accordance with the anti-land grabbing laws of Ogun State.

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Court orders forfeiture of N300m bonds over Kanu’s absence

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Court remands man for allegedly slapping wife to death

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of the N300 million bail bonds by sureties to Nnamdi Kanu following their failure to produce him in court on Tuesday.

Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the money be deposited in the court’s bank account and not the Federal Givernment’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) before the next adjourned date on March 28, 2019.

The judge ruled that the sureties: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish priest, Immanuel Shalom, and an Abuja-based accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, would be given six months to argue their applications challenging the forfeiture.

However, the co-accused to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, and Chidiebere Onwudiwe were present as their trial on three count-charges bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and setting up illegal broadcast stations, continued.

Earlier, prosecution counsel Suleiman Labaran asked the court to order the sureties to show cause why the N100m bail bond for each of the them should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

But counsel to Abaribe, Chukwu Machukwu-Ume (SAN) said the lawmaker went on an oversight function with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.

Justice Binta Nyako threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Abaribe and Uchendu, who was said to be ill. Shalom was present in court.

The sureties had filed separate applications asking the court to stop their suretyship on the ground that they can no longer perform that responsibility because of some supervening and exceptional circumstances.

 

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