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Degree Mills Fallout: FG vows to deal with ‘Criminals’ with Fake Degrees

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By Eddy Ochigbo, Abuja

Sequel to the upsurge of questionable degrees in Nigeria, the Federal Government has set up a committee to look into the activities of private universities established in the last 15 years to unravel the identity of those the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman described as criminals parading fake degrees in the country.

The Minister who made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating the committee, said the findings of the committee would show if the private institutions under investigation have in place prescribed facilities, adequate management structure and adequate funding of programmes as stipulated by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Tahir revealed that the inter-ministerial committee set up to look into the activities of illegal universities would examine among other things, the veracity of the allegations of degree certificate racketeering within and without.

“We must ensure our degrees are not only genuine but qualitative to meet up with global standards of education”, the minister told the 7-member newly inaugurated committee, assuring that the ministry would provide the necessary logistics for the Committee to carry out its mandate smoothly.

He said setting up the committee became absolutely necessary to protect “those of us who have worked very hard to earn our degrees.”

The investigative panel’s terms of reference are as follows: “Examine the veracity of the allegations of degree certificate racketeering within both foreign and local private universities in Nigeria; Review the role of any MDA or its officials (including identifying such officials) in facilitation of the recognition and procurement of the fake certificate in question; Review existing policies and procedures related to accreditation and certification to identify weaknesses contributing to the issue.

Examine the rules, procedures and processes for recognition and accreditation of foreign universities and programmes by the Federal Ministry of Education; establish if unapproved foreign institutions (Degree Mills) exist or not in Nigeria in whatever form with their identities and locations if any; make appropriate recommendations for review of any rules, procedures, processes to prevent re-occurrence and sanctions for identified erring officials; make other recommendation that will strengthen the system of recognitions, accreditations and quality assurance of degrees in Nigeria; examine the extant rules procedures and processes for granting of provisional licences to new universities by the National Universities Commission (NUC); and examine the procedures and processes for periodic accreditation of programmes in the universities by the NUC and examine their effectiveness in quality assurance of the programmes.

Without prejudice to the periodic accreditation exercise of the NUC, examine whether or not private Universities established in the last 15 years have in place prescribed facilities, appropriate management structure, adequate funding of programmes, requisite staff (nature of staff-full time, contract, adjunct, visiting, other types).

The committee members include: Prof Jibril Amin (Chairman), Dr Chris Maiyaki, Acting Executive Secretary NUC, Ambassador Lazarus Kpasaba, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Omeh Nwokpoku, Office of National Security Adviser.

Others are: Amina Mohammed Lugga, Federal Ministry of Youth Development and Mrs Doom Iyortyorm of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The committee has two months to conclude its assignment.

NEWS

Public Disturbance: Court Orders Kano TikToker to Undergo Mental Evaluation

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A Kano State Shari’a Court on Tuesday, ordered that a Kano Tiktoker Murja Kunya, be taken to a Government hospital for a mental evaluation.

The defendant, who lives at Tishama Hotoro Quarters Kano, is standing trial on a three-count charge of inciting  public disturbance, belonging to criminal gang and criminal intimidation.

Delivering a ruling, the Judge Malam Nura Yusuf-Ahmad, ordered that the defendant be taken to public hospital to ascertain her mental health due to suspected drug influence.

“The defendant previous appearance shows she is allegedly not in a sound state of mind due to suspected drug influence.

” Hisbah board should be updating the court time to time on her well-being for three months”

Yusuf-Ahmad  adjourned the matter untill May for hearing.

Earlier, the Prosecutor Prosecution Counsel, Mr Aliyu Abideen, said Kano State Hisbah Board arrested the defendent after receiving several complaints from members of the public.

He alleged that the defendant usually terrorize Tishama Hotoro Quarters Kano by bringing bad boys at midnight and  also disturbs the area by inciting disturbance and using social media to disturb members of the public.

“The defendant in one of her videos on Tiktok which went viral said she is the leader of all prostitute in the city”

The defendant, however, denied committing the offence.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened section 341, 275 and 227 of Kano State Shari’a Law.(NAN)

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NEWS

NAF Nabs Alleged Notorious Kidnapper in Kano

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Troops of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) deployed at Durbunde in Takai Local Government Area  of Kano State have apprehended a 35-year-old alleged high-profile kidnapper known as Isah Abdul.

This is contained in a statement by NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said that the arrest was carried out on Monday at 6.

30 p.
m. in a well-coordinated operation following credible intelligence on the hideout of the suspect and other members of his gang.

He said that the gang was responsible for several kidnapping incidences in the area.

According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that Isah Abdul was responsible for the abduction of one Yakubu Ibrahim Tagaho, popularly known as Sarkin Noman Gaya, on April 6, 2023, from his residence in Tagaho Village in Takai LGA.

Gabkwet said that Tagaho was released a month later after a ransom of N30 million was collected by his abductors.

“In December 2023, the same criminal abducted two sisters and three others in the same village and released them after collecting a huge ransom.

“He is also responsible for several other kidnapping activities as he has strong ties with  other known kidnapping gangs like the Danbul Fulaku gang that also operates in Takai LGA.

“Isah Abdul is currently in the custody of the Nigerian Air Force and undergoing investigations.

“He will soon be handed over to appropriate authorities,” he said. (NAN)

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Foreign News

Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 29,195 Amid Israeli Attacks

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The death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 29,195 with 69,170 others wounded as the Israeli attacks continue, The Gaza-based Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Israeli army had killed 103 Palestinians and wounded 142 others in the Strip during the past 24 hours, the ministry said in a press statement.

It was noted that some victims remained under the rubble amid heavy bombardment and a lack of civil defence and ambulance crews.

Meanwhile, Israeli media outlets said the Israeli army forces were continuing their operations in the north centre and south of the Gaza Strip against Hamas, and have killed many fighters.

The Israeli army announced the death of a 22-year-old soldier as a result of his wounds in the Gaza battles.

The death of the 22-year-old soldier raised the death toll of Israeli soldiers killed in the ground operation to 236.

In addition, the Israeli army revealed a video of Israeli detainees alive in the first days of their detention in the Gaza Strip on Monday.

The video was showing a woman and her two children wrapped in a blanket, taken by gunmen in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the family had been kidnapped by an organization calling itself the “Mujahideen Brigades.” (Xinhua/NAN)

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