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JAMB Lifts Lid on Reported Swallowing of N36m by Snake

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB on Monday banished a viral reports making rounds on the internet space and social media that a “spiritual” snake swallowed N36 million belonging to the board in Bauchi.

The Board in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Franklin Benjamin said it was a pure case of criminality and fraud by one of its staff. The report had it that a mystery snake sneaked into the accounts office of the board in Makurdi, Benue state and swallowed N36 million cash belonging JAMB.

The development occurred when a team of auditors dispatched by JAMB to take inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and recover funds generated or embezzled during sales periods. JAMB candidates usually purchase scratch cards to gain access to the Board’s website for either registration or for checking their admission status but that has been stopped by the registrar, Ishaq Oloyede.

The report read; “A sales clerk, Philomina Chieshe, told JAMB registrar and his team that she could not account for N36 million she made in previous years before the abolition of scratch cards. In the course of interrogation, Philomena denied the allegations that she stole the money but confessed that her housemaid connived with another JAMB staff, Joan Asen, to “spiritually” (through a snake) steal the money from the vault in the account office”.

Speaking on the fraud, Benjamin said; “It is natural for the office to account for what they have after the sale of scratch cards has been stopped and we discovered that lots of money was missing in Markurdi and other offices.

“There are procedures in the civil service, so the whole thing is still under investigation. She was queried, she appeared before disciplinary committee, although she confessed that money was missing and a snake swallowed it.

“Unfortunately, she is calling one Joan’s name which did not appear in the investigation at all. Joan only recommended a house help for her. Of course, the management did not believe the story. She is just trying to put an excuse forward.

“These are things the Registrar is trying to unravel to put the board on the right footing. We had a case where one of the staff said he had an accident on his way and the scratch cards got burnt but only for us to discover that they were used because they all had serial numbers.”

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Pastor Charis, Bishop Emmah Isong, others for Restoration Congress 2018

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Akwa Ibom INFO, Uyo

Senior Pastor and Founder, Restoration Grace Assembly, Pastor Charis Essienobong is to speak at the Restoration Congress 2018, with the theme: “Out of Darkness”.

Other ministers of the gospel expected at the event include Pastor (Mrs). Idy Charis and the Founder and Presiding Bishop of Christian Central Chapel International, Calabar, Bishop (Dr) Emmah Isong.

Restoration Congress 2018

According to the organiser of the congress, Pastor Charis Essienobong, “this year’s theme is targeted at uprooting every occupation of darkness in the lives of believers and God is ready to release fresh light for His people.”

The yearly event, which begins from Thursday, August 16 to Sunday, August 19, will also feature ministrations by Pastor Ity Charis, The Classical Choir and The Restored Voices Choir, among others. The event will be rounded off with Super Celebration Service on Sunday, August 20, 2018 from 8am.

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Buhari signs law stopping VPs who complete president’s tenure

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a constitutional amendment that stops a vice president who completes the term of a president from contesting for the office of the President more than once.

The same is applicable to a deputy governor who completes the term of a state governor.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday.

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Buhari signs law stopping VPs who complete president’s tenure

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a constitutional amendment that stops a vice president who completes the term of a president from contesting for the office of the President more than once.

The same is applicable to a deputy governor who completes the term of a state governor.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday.

The term of a President or a governor can be aborted by virtue of death, resignation or removal, thereby paving the way for the Vice President or deputy governor to take over.

Enang said the President also signed an amendment to the constitution that grants autonomy to state judiciary and state Houses of Assembly.

According to Enang, the President also signed an amendment that reduced the duration for determining pre-election matters in courts to ensure that such matters do not get into the time of the elections and do not linger thereafter.

He added that another amendment increased the time the Independent National Electoral Commission has to conduct by-election in case of vacancy from the present seven days to 21 days.

Enang said, “I just want to inform you that His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari today (Friday) assented to the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill which grants financial authonomy and independence to the Houses of Assembly of the respective states and to the Judiciary of the respective states.

“Therefore, upon this signature, the amounts standing to the credit of the judiciary are to now be paid directly to the judiciary of those states and no more through the governors and from the governors.

“And then the amounts standing to the credit of the Houses of Assembly of the respective states are now to be paid directly to the Houses of Assembly of that state for the benefit of the legislators and the management of the state Houses of Assembly of that state. This grants full autonomy now to the Houses of Assembly and judiciary of states.

“Another Act which has come into force today is Constitution Amendment 21 which relates to the determination of pre-elections matters. It has reduced the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that the pre-election matters in court do not get into the time of the elections and do not linger thereafter.

“The relevant section of the Constitution has also been amended by this Act, therefore amending the constitution.

“The other one is Bill 16 which is now an Act. The intent of that Act is to ensure that where a Vice President succeeds the President and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than one more time.

“The effect is that having taken the oath of President once, he can only contest one more time and no more. That is the intent of this amendment.

“The other amendment is Bill 9 now an Act which gives the Independent National Electoral Commission sufficient time to conduct by-election. It has increased the time from seven to 21 days and generally widen the latitude of the INEC to handle election matters upon vacancy.

“These four bills, added to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act, have now been assented to by the President and have now become laws.

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Ika Youths Denounce Sponsored Political Rally

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The youths of Ika Local Government Area have strongly denounced a purported rally organised by Eagle Youth Foundation, Ika on Saturday, 9th June, 2018.

The statement was released to our reporter by a coalition of government recognised youth groups consisting of Youth Caucus, National Youth Council, Dakkada Coordinators and Village Coordinators after a meeting held at Uruk Inyang, Ika Local Government on 7th June, 2018.

The coordinators of the various youth bodies, Uduakobong Ekereke, Udeme Mendie, Ekom Nwoko, Godswill Dickson Udom, Uduak Reuben Ndok and Etienyene Thomas stated in unambiguous terms that they are not part of the purported rally and vowed that Eagle Youth Foundation cannot speak on behalf of Ika youths without due consultation.

According to the statement, “we are presently mourning the demise of Mr. Akaninyene Noah, an executive member of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ika Chapter whose burial is slated for 30th June, 2018.”

Affirming their support for Governor Udom Emmanuel and Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio, the youth leaders clarified that they have already written and gotten approval for an endorsement rally in their support to be held July, 2018, adding that all Ika youths will team up at that time and give their leaders a deserving reception.

Declaring the rally as inconsequential and parochial, the youth leaders vowed to resist it as it is planned in disguise to promote the personal ambition of certain aspirants and not mainly to promote the interest of His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel.

“We therefore frown at any attempt by selfish politicians to bring division and disunity amongst the youths of Ika Local Government Area and cautioned them to desist forthwith”, the statement added.

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Emmanuel Ekon Empowers 50 Constituents on Livestock Production

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Boosting the participation of youths in agriculture, Chairman House Committee on Local Content and honourable member representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency Hon. Emmanuel Ekon has partnered with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science to train and empower 50 of his constituents to become agro-preneurs in livestock farming.

Prof. E. A Iyayi. Photo Credit: Ekon Media Centre

The beneficiaries, who are mainly youths and women drawn from the federal constituency, benefitted from the training and empowerment programme on how to rear chickens like broilers, layers and cockerels for local consumption and export.

Speaking at the two-day training held at Abak Local Government Council Secretariat, the Coordinator of the training programme, Professor E. A Iyayi said that the institute’s collaboration with the lawmaker was a way of curtailing the menace of youth unemployment in the society. Stressing the essence of agriculture to food production and nation building, the scholar commended the lawmaker for empowering youths and women in poultry farming. “The oil sector is failing, we must resort to agriculture which is emerging as the mainstay of our economy” he added.

Barr. Imoh Williams, the Chairman of Abak Local Government Area represented by the Supervisor, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Emem Westgarth noted that engaging the youths positively in such initiative, will considerably enable them to utilize their innate abilities for profitable ventures in agriculture and thereby prevents restiveness in the constituency. He tasked the participants to take the training seriously and focus on multiplying the impact to the ward level.

Responding, the lawmaker represented by Mr. Ubong Affia said he has taken steps to engage his constituents, especially the youths, frequently, through skills acquisition, capacity building and educational development; and more importantly, to key into the industrialisation drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

The lawmaker noted that he decided to train them on livestock production in his first phase project because the business is lucrative and will add more value to their lives and also bolster economic diversification which is the cardinal project of this administration.

“We as lawmakers should not fold our arms, but support the Governor in this agenda. He wants to diversify the economy and our youths must be empowered and encouraged to embrace agriculture,” he said.

Ekon added that the youths were being trained and financially empowered to start the business without any challenge.

The participants were given startup funds and operational guides worth millions of naira.

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