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UTME Registration: JAMB, security operatives arrest two suspects, warn centres against infractions

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Mr Damilola Bamiro, an ICT consultant of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has warned registration officers in Computer Based Test (CBT) centres across the country, to respect guidelines for registration of candidates, or risk access withdrawal.
Mr Bamiro gave the warning during a combined ‘sting operation’ carried out by the board and some security operatives, on Monday in Lagos.
He was speaking against the backdrop of information received by the board, on  alleged cyber bullying of a candidate,.
The candidate was allegedly bullied by some registration officers of a CBT centre located somewhere in the Ajah area of the state.
According to him, the board has resolved  to come down hard,  on any centre caught compromising the integrity of its examination.
“Today, based on a social media report that has gone viral, a woman complained that her 15-year-old daughter was being approached by a staff  of the supposed centre,  via a chat on the X platform.
“Immediately we got the information, we swung into action, because, of course, the board will never stand for such an act where anybody coming in contact with candidates’ information, will now turn around and use it for personal use.
“This contravenes a lot of laws today. So, going further, we identified the centre as you can see here, since our system identifies who has registered a candidate and we were able to apprehend both the person that registered the candidate and the person that approached the minor.
“We have already apprehended the suspects, just so to assure Nigerians that JAMB will always swing into action, wherever any case against candidates is reported.
“We take such issues as data protection very seriously. We have since handed them over to the police for further prosecution.
“Naturally, any of the other centres  that had infringed on any of our policies, we have had their access immediately withdrawn and I will like to inform you that we have done same with this centre,” he stated.
Mr Bamiro however noted that candidates who had registered at the centre before the clamp down, remained valid, adding that they were all safe and had nothing to worry about.
According to him, the other candidates waiting to be registered at the centre should visit other centres for their registration.
He explained that thereafter, no other registration would take place or be recognised by the board at the said centre.
He  explained that access to registration of candidates at the  centre in question had henceforth, been withdrawn, following the incident, adding that it was a way of mitigating against further exposure to risks of innocent candidates.
According to him, one of the good things  the board has done is the decentralization of candidate registration.
“Before now, we had problems of warehousing, whereby candidates are stuck to a particular centre for registration.
“That does no longer obtain. Right now, any candidate can visit any centre  of his or her choice in their vicinity and get registered.
“Nothing ties a candidate to any particular centre. The truth is, when we ask the centres to supply the National Identification Number (NIN) of every staff that is going to work and come in contact with candidates, they think we are joking.
“So, we are now using this opportunity to remind all the CBT centres, that coming in contact with minors and other candidates generally, is a serious matter.
“Officials of these centres are the ones that are supposed to be the guardians of these candidates and help them ensure that they are doing the right thing and are safe.
“You know we have a policy that parents are not allowed in our centres, which means these candidates are in the care of these registration officers.
“So, if now there is any issue like this one, we have no choice than to take it seriously, to reassure parents that, that policy of ensuring that we can handle these children is preserved and parents can still be rest assured that JAMB will not hesitate to tackle any complaint from any parent with cases of similar nature,” he stated.
On the NIN challenges encountered by some of the candidates at the ongoing registration of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME),
he said that efforts were on, to have them resolved seamlessly.
He noted that the board and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) had been having a harmonious working relationship.
According to him, for about two to three years running now, the board has developed better integration with the NIMC server.
“We have made suggestions to them, which they have taken and implemented and yes, there are still a few complaints but not like before.
“Today alone, we have registered about 80,000 to 100,000 candidates and if NIMC was still a problem, we may still have not been able to record such large number in just one day.
“We are going largely smoother because the integration between the board and NIMC have been massive improved upon and everyday, we have coordination with them.
“They review the complaints, we also do ours and NIMC can review complaints from candidates, inside  the JAMB system, so that they are better aware of where the challenges are coming from,” he stated.

Crime

Five suspects remanded for armed robbery in Ibadan

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Five men were remanded in a detention facility by the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Tuesday over allegations of armed robbery.

The suspects identified as Abiodun Solomon (24), Abdulahi Alejolowo (26), Emmanuel Ayobami (31), Kazeem Saka (37), and Taofeek Lawal (35), with undisclosed addresses, are accused of conspiracy and armed robbery.

According to the prosecutor, Insp Olalekan Adegbite, the defendants allegedly committed the offense around 2 a.m. on January 8 in the Olode neighborhood of Ibadan. Adegbite stated that the defendants assaulted individuals in the neighborhood using weapons and proceeded to rob them of their cell phones, jewelry, electrical gadgets, cash, and other valuables.

The prosecutor said that these actions contravened Sections 6(B) and 1(2) of Nigeria’s Robbery and Firearms Laws of 2004.

However, Magistrate Oluwabusayo Osho declined to accept the defendants’ plea due to jurisdictional limitations and instructed that the case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal guidance. The matter was adjourned until April 29 for mention.

This incident follows a similar case reported  last Friday, where the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court remanded three men – Jiya Adams (44), Joseph Abidoye (39), and Femi Adetunji (40) – on allegations of kidnapping. The accused individuals, also without disclosed addresses, faced charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and abduction.

Magistrate Olaolu Olanipekun adjoined the case till May 13 for further hearing after directing the prosecution to duplicate the case file and send it to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

The prosecution counsel, ASP Anthony Igori, alleged that the defendants, along with others, attacked an expatriate and proprietor of Saco Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Mohammed Il-Saheed, stole his Samsung cell phone valued at N800,000, and abducted him, collecting a N35 million ransom before releasing him after six days in captivity.

These incidents underscore the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to address criminal activities in Ibadan and uphold the rule of law.

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Crime

Three internet fraudsters convicted, jailed in Ilorin

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Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, Monday, April 15, convicted and sentenced three individuals involved in internet fraud, following their arrest and arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The three convicts, Qudus Temitope Ismail, Kolade Adetola Toheeb, and Abdulmalik Timileyin Khalid pleaded guilty to charges related to online scams.

Toheeb, accused of impersonation, deceived a victim by posing as a football match forecaster named Throndsen Waylen. Using a fake Telegram account and the phone number +23481260084504, he tricked Jake Cooper into sending $200 via PayPal in July 2023. Consequently, Toheeb violated Section 321 of the Penal Code, leading to his conviction under Section 324.

After pleading guilty, the EFCC’s counsel, Mustapha Kaigama, presented the case facts and the defendants’ statements, along with recovered items from their possession at the time of arrest.

Justice Abdulgafar sentenced each defendant to six months’ suspended imprisonment and ordered the forfeiture of phones, laptops, €100, and $200USD recovered from Toheeb to the Federal Government.

The trio’s arrest and subsequent conviction underscore the EFCC’s commitment to combating cybercrime and upholding justice in Nigeria. With this verdict, the court sends a clear message on the consequences of engaging in fraudulent activities online.

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Crime

Lagos: Dispatch riders face charges for theft of valuable items

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Dispatch riders in Lagos have recently found themselves embroiled in criminal cases over alleged thefts of valuable items entrusted to them for delivery.

29-year-old Chigaemezu Kingsley, a dispatch rider residing at No. 8, Muyiwa Close, Off Ajayi Road, Ikeja Lagos, was brought before the Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for the said offence.

He faces charges of acquiring by false pretense and theft; he is accused of stealing gold jewelry worth N2.7 million. The alleged theft occurred on April 2 in Aguda, Lagos Magisterial District, where Chigaemezu purportedly absconded with a parcel containing the jewelry intended for delivery to a client in Sangotedo Ajah.

In a separate incident, Matthew Odah, a 27-year-old dispatch rider known as Mr. Lemon, was apprehended by the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS) after eight months on the run. Odah stands accused of selling three iPhones worth N1.7 million entrusted to him for delivery.

The iPhones, including an iPhone 14 ProMax (128 GB) and two iPhone 11 models (128 and 68 GB), were meant for delivery to a client in Lekki on August 23, 2023.

Odah’s arrest took place at Alpha Beach, Lagos, where one of the iPhones was recovered. During interrogation, Odah admitted to selling the iPhones in Obalende for N300,000.

These cases underscore the importance of stringent measures to vet and monitor delivery personnel to prevent theft and ensure the safe delivery of valuable items in Lagos.

The legal proceedings highlight the need for accountability and adherence to ethical conduct among individuals entrusted with the responsibility of delivering goods to customers.

As the cases progress through the judicial system, they serve as a reminder of the challenges faced in maintaining the integrity of delivery services amidst concerns of theft and misappropriation of entrusted items.

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