By Laleye Dipo
The Niger State House of Assembly is to prosecute the Chairman and some members of staff of the State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB) for allegedly extorting money from final year primary school pupils.
The House on Wednesday directed its Committee on Judiciary to look into the legal books to get the aspects of the law the officials have infringed upon and commence their prosecution.
The legislators under a matter of urgent importance brought by the member representing Paikoro constituency, Alhaji Sulaiman Gambo Rabiu, had said that final year pupils were being charged different fees by schools on the order of the NSUBEB.
According to him, out of the amount illegally levied, N400 per pupil was allegedly sent to the Board for testimonial.
Rabiu said collection of fees from their constituents under any guise and “especially in this period is very inhumane”, adding that it also “contravenes section 19 and 20 of the law that set up the Niger State Universal Basic Education Board”.
The lawmaker insisted that: “It is illegal and not in the mandate of NSUBEB to collect fees from the pupils”, pointing out that “testimonials are usually given by schools and not NSUBEB”.
Contributing to the debate, the member representing Bosso constituency, Alhaji Malik Madaki Bosso, submitted that since the action was illegal and meant to siphon money, the individuals involved should be made to face criminal trial in the court of law.
When the matter was put to the legislators, they agreed that in compliance with the law, the persons involved should be brought and charged before a court of competent jurisdiction in line with the penal code.
The House also resolved that the Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, should appear before the House to explain the circumstances that led to the charging of the illegal fees.
The Speaker, Alhaji Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, directed that all fees collected from the primary 6 pupils should be refunded to their parents immediately.