Following the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Bill on Wednesday, the Senate says those raising false alarms on hidden loots will be sentenced 5 years or pay N10 million fine.
The lawmakers also assented that 5 per cent of the recovered loot would be awarded to the the whistleblower who give information that leads to its recovery, even as it is currently the practice of the Federal Government.
The Whistleblower Protection Bill was sponsored by the Deputy Minority Whip, Abiodun Olujimi, PDP Senator representing Ekiti South Constituency, which was considered and adopted by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters
Making comment after the passage of the bill, the Senate President Bukola Saraki, says the Senate has kept its promise in sustaining anti-graft war.
“This is a promise kept. Today, we have passed a landmark piece of legislation to fight corruption and protect patriotic Nigerians who are fighting corruption. This bill will protect the lives of those who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in Nigeria”, said Saraki
JAMB directs 2022 candidates to print notication slips
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has directed all candidates who registered for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to start printing their 2022 UTME notification slips from Saturday.
JAMB’s Director of Information and Technology Services, Mr Fabian Okoro, made the announcement via a statement released to JAMBULLETIN ahead of this year’s exercise.
According to the statement, the 2022 UTME notification slip is available for printing by all candidates who registered for the examination scheduled to hold from May 6 to 14.
Okoro stressed that the printing of examination notification slip was compulsory for all candidates, as it enables them to know the venue, date, session and time of their examination.
“All candidates are advised to print slips on time so as to know the location of their examination centres, date of their scheduled sessions and time of the examination beforehand, especially with the adjustment in examination schedules this year,” he said.
“This would guide them in making necessary arrangements ahead of the exercise as the board frowns at lateness to its examination; no excuses would be entertained from any candidates as a stitch in time, saves nine.
“Candidates need not visit any CBT centres for the printing of the notification slip as it can be done at any available internet point, be it private or public. To print the slip, candidates are to visit https://www.jamb.gov.ng then click on 2022 UTME slip printing then insert registration number to print.”
The slip contains candidates’ important details such as registration number, the centre to which they were to sit the examination within their chosen examination town, and the expected time to be at the centre.
In a related development, the board insisted that all candidates would be checked into the examination hall using the Biometric Verification Machine (BVM) – a register of attendance in line with its policy of ‘no biometric verification, no examination’.
It stressed that no examination would be rescheduled for whatever reason, saying candidates must prepare ahead and stay close to their examination venues and if possible, pay a prior visit to their centres before the date of the examination.
JAMB asked candidates to be careful not to run afoul of the law, especially at it relates to prohibited items, saying necessary sanctions would be meted out to violators of its code of conduct.
These include flash drives, smart watches, calculators, recorders, mobile phones, spy reading glasses and jewelleries, among others.
Elon Must planning to cut cost, staff to improve Twitter’s income
Bouncing to action, the new Twitter owner Elon Musk has reportedly said he would be cutting cost and staff in order to improve the company’s total income.
During conversations with banks, Musk told bankers that he would be focused on the social-media company’s bottom line, and floated the idea of cutting both costs and jobs, according to people familiar with the matter.
According to the Washington Post, Musk addressed “efficiencies” at the microblogging platform with bankers, “which could include job cuts.”
Twitter or its CEO Parag Agrawal have not commented on the reports. Agrawal had told employees that there would be “no layoffs at this time”.
However, according to sources, Musk may reduce jobs in the company’s policy department.
U.S. reacts as Russia talks of World War III
U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed sharp criticism, on Tuesday, of a warning from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov regarding a pending World War III and the possible use of nuclear weapons.
“You’ve heard us say a number of times that that kind of rhetoric is very dangerous and unhelpful,” Austin said following an international conference on supplying weapons to Ukraine held at the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany.
“Nobody wants to see a nuclear war happen. Dangerous rhetoric is clearly unhelpful. And something that we won’t engage in,” he added.
Speaking on Monday, Lavrov said the danger was real and should not be underestimated.
He compared the current situation to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
After the Ramstein meeting that drew in some 40 countries, Austin said that an international contact group to support Ukraine’s military would meet on a monthly basis in the future.
“The contact group will be a vehicle for nations of goodwill to intensify efforts, coordinate assistance and focus on winning today’s fight and the struggles to come,” he said.
The goal was to provide long-term military support to Ukraine beyond the current crisis.
Austin welcomed Germany’s “major decision” to support Ukraine with armoured anti-aircraft systems.
The transfer of 50 of the Cheetah vehicles, known as Gepards in German, marked a “significant” step that brings important additional capabilities to Ukraine, he said.
“We are all determined to help Ukraine win today and build strength tomorrow,” he said, describing the meeting as “an important session on long-term support for Ukraine’s defences, including what that will take from our defence industrial bases.”
The U.S. department of Defence made clear that the conference was not under NATO auspices. Non-members were among those attending.
Many representatives participated via video.
Speaking at the airbase, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said Ukrainian soldiers were to be trained to use artillery systems on German soil.
President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine meant that Russia had “taken its leave of the circle of civilised nations,” she said.
The situation remained dire in Ukraine on Tuesday, with officials reporting multiple dead and wounded across the country due to continuing Russian attacks.
The Russian military claimed it had captured the entire southern region of Kherson and made territorial gains in eastern areas.
It also said it had destroyed four Ukrainian ammunition depots in the Slovyansk area through airstrikes.
According to the Ukrainian account on Tuesday evening, there has been little change in Russian attacks or gains in eastern Ukraine.
After Russian forces largely pulled back from Ukraine’s west and north following a stalled invasion and a failed attempt to take the Ukrainian capital Kiev, its forces are now focusing on the east, trying to establish a land corridor between the Donbass.
Much of the Donbass is held by pro-Russian separatists, and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
It is also thought that Russian forces are attempting to encircle the remaining Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine. Doing so would take a large part of Ukraine’s army out of action and be a significant blow to the country’s defences.
Ukraine’s military warned of an activation of Russian troops in the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria in Moldova.
Transnistria, which lies on Ukraine’s western border, belongs to Moldova under international law but has been controlled by Russia since 1990.
Should Russian troops from Transnistria and paramilitary groups loyal to Moscow from the region intervene in the war, there is a potential threat of encirclement of Ukrainian forces in the south of the country, especially around the Odessa region.
“The units of the Russian armed forces have been put on full combat readiness,” a report by the Ukrainian general staff published on Facebook on Tuesday evening said.
In addition, the security forces of the Moldovan separatists had also been put on heightened readiness, it said.
This followed several explosions that took down radio towers in Transnistria.
The towers in the region along the border with Ukraine had been used to broadcast Russian radio stations.
On Monday, the Ministry for State Security in the Transnistrian capital of Tiraspol came under attack, prompting the Transnistrian security council to impose the highest terrorist alert level.
Ukraine accuses Russia of provocative acts with the aim of generating panic.
Also on Tuesday, Belarus announced an unexpected military exercise involving its air force and anti-aircraft troops alongside Russian forces.
The exercise is set to last until Friday, the Defence Ministry in Minsk announced, according to the Interfax news agency.
The leadership of the Russian air force and anti-aircraft forces from Russia’s Western Military District were due to join the manoeuvres, it said.
No further details were provided.
Russia used its close ally Belarus as a staging ground for its invasion of Ukraine and has continued to use the country for attacks on Ukraine since Feb. 24.
Oyo PDP stakeholders faults Makinde over ‘excessive’ borrowing
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Oyo State, on Tuesday, decried what they called excessive borrowing by the Gov. Seyi Makinde-led administration.
The stakeholders stated this at a news conference in Ibadan over what they described as the precarious condition of the state.
A PDP governorship aspirant, Mr Hazeem Gbolarumi, who spoke at the news conference, on behalf of the stakeholders, said that Makinde’s excessive borrowing was contrary to the party’s reason for supporting his candidature in the 2019 election.
Gbolarumi said that the borrowing could not be measured with the current low level of development in the state, poverty and low access to economic opportunities, which, he said, had affected the wellbeing of the people of the state.
According to him, one of the major objectives of PDP is to provide good governance that ensures probity and participatory democracy which, in turn, guarantees fundamental human rights of all the citizenry.
These, he said, had not been fulfilled by the governor, despite all the interventions by PDP stakeholders.
Gbolarumi accused Makinde of not promoting political stability within the party and fostering unity and integration among members.
He also said that the governor had not safeguarded the party’s core values, in his deliberate attempts to undermine the party in the state.
“PDP stakeholders, therefore, express dissatisfaction with the way the governor has been undermining the party in the state.
“Our commitment, as concerned stakeholders in Oyo State PDP, is to ensure free and fair process.
The governor is the distributor of nomination forms to candidates in Oyo State PDP, especially those from other political parties, at the expense of the bona fide party members.
“This has been Makinde’s modus operandi since his assumption of office as governor.
“Going by the PDP principles at national level, we remain unshaken, and our pledge to ensure that we counter any action by the governor to jeopardise the emergence of credible candidates remains unshaken,” he said.
Gbolarumi urged PDP national headquarters to ensure that the party did not lose to another party in the state due to the present situation of things, stressing that grassroots support was being threatened.
He said that he had obtained his governorship nomination form to contest against Makinde during the forthcoming governorship primaries of the party in the state.
Again, police transfer Osinachi’s case, husband
The FCT Police Command has transferred the case of the late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu, to the Department of Public Prosecutions.
Recall that the ‘Ekwueme’ singer died on April 8 after allegedly enduring years of domestic violence from her husband Peter Nwachukwu.
The late singer’s husband, Peter was arrested after the family reported the matter to the police.
The case has since been at the State Criminal Investigation Department, as the police carried out autopsy on the late singer.
Giving update, the FCT Command spokesperson, Josephine Adeh said Osinachi’s case has been transferred to the Department of Public Prosecution for legal advice.
“The case is no longer with us.
“It is now with the DPP in the office of the Attorney-General,” Adeh told newsmen.
The case was reportedly transferred after the release of autopsy report on Monday.
2023 elections: INEC to spend N239bn on poll materials
The Independent National Electoral Commission will spend at least N239.2bn on procuring voting materials and vehicles that will be used in the 2023 general election.
This is according to the 2023 General Election Project Plan that was launched by INEC in Abuja on Thursday, April 21.
The Commission stated that N239.2bn, which constitutes 78.44 per cent of its N305bn budget, would be spent on 10 critical items which included ballot papers, operational vehicles, ballot boxes, allowances of ad hoc workers, printing of result sheets, logistics and procurement of accreditation devices.
Also included in the N239.2bn budget is the N27.1bn set aside by the commission for possible run-off elections, including the one for the presidential poll.
A breakdown of the document, 2023 General Election Project Plan, shows that the highest single component will be the procurement of accreditation devices which will gulp N105.2bn. This also constitutes 34.51 per cent of the total election budget of N305bn.
The allowance for ad hoc workers, who will be more than one million people, is pegged at N23.7bn while N23bn was set aside for election logistics expenses which include the movement, deployment and retrieval of men and materials for the elections.
INEC will also spend N20.6bn on the printing of ballot papers and N12.7bn on the procurement of non-sensitive materials. The commission set aside N9.5bn for the printing of result sheets, N7.8bn for the procurement of ballot boxes and a separate N5.39bn for the same purpose. The electoral body will also spend N3.9bn for the procurement of operational vehicles.
In a diagram illustrating a comparative analysis of the 2019 and 2023 general election budgets, INEC noted that while N189bn was set aside for the previous elections, the 2023 general election would gulp N305bn.