JAMB to Spend N100m to Prosecute Impersonators of 2020 UTME
Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has said it would spend not less than N100 million to prosecute 200 out of the over 400 persons involved in impersonation in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.
This followed the board’s hint on proliferation of fraudulent Computer Based Test, CBT, centres in some areas of the North.
JAMB also revealed that over 400 candidates currently seeking admissions into institutions across the country were involved in admission fraud. It alleged that some tertiary institutions aided in the widespread irregularities.
Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, revealed all these, Tuesday, in Abuja, at a press conference he held to parade two suspects apprehended in Kano for attempting to change a photograph used in UTME registration in Bayero University, Kano.
According to him, the Board has the ability to detect any illegal attempt to change candidate’s biometric data and other details used in UTME.
He reminded tertiary institutions of the warning of Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on schools not allowing candidates alter their UTME details in the course of registration to avoid being treated as an accomplice to fraud.
Regarding the planned prosecution of candidates and other individuals involved in impersonation and use of mercenaries, the JAMB boss said the Board lacked the resources to ensure all of them are brought to book.
“This year we have over 400 people that have already been caught, who those that wrote the exam are different from those who are registering (in universities). We have put certain things in place and we are expecting each of the institutions to come forward.
“The institutions should be vigilant and we appeal to those young ones that the game is up. There is nothing they do that will not be detected.
“At the appropriate time, we should prosecute at least 200 out of the 400. What we intend to do is to pick like five from each of the states of the federation,” he said.
Buttressing cost to ensure effective prosecution of identified suspects, Oloyede said the Board will have to spend at least N500,000 on each case (which will bring the amount to N100 million for 200 persons).
According to him: “To prosecute one case you will have to spend nothing less than N500, 000 because your staff will be going from one place to the other. When they go to court, at times the court will not sit, you will go back as witness, somebody travelling from Kano to Abuja or Abuja to Kano, will be going five times to do that.
“It cost a lot of money. Technology will give us all of them, we will now use federal character by picking across the states. And then prosecute, because we don’t have the resources to prosecute all of them.”
Oloyede lamented that the North is fast becoming epicentre for JAMB exam fraud. Unfortunately, the top 20 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres caught in the act of trying to change candidates picture and other details are all from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Gombe, Bauchi, Borno and Sokoto states.
He, however, said some of the owners are not from the Northern states, citing a case of three CBT centres notorious for abetting such malpractices in Kano that are owned by a woman from a South-South state.
The JAMB Boss said the apprehension of Buhari Abubakar, a 2020 JAMB candidate, and Mohammed Ajeru Sanusi, a CBT centre operator in Kano, for trying to change the former passport, testified to the ability of JAMB to detect any such fraud in any institution.
The 27 year-old Abubakar, who applied for Islamic Studies at BUK, disclosed to newsmen that he engaged Sanusi with N21500 to secure an exam taker for him with the promise of paying N4, 500 balance. The latter also engaged one Umar Shani for N8, 000 to sit for UTME on his behalf.
However, the last straw that broke the camel was when Abubakar details in BUK carried the passport of the exam taker.
In an effort to get the passport changed to reflect Abubakar’s image, he reached out again to Sanusi for help, and that was how they were both apprehended.
Both Abubakar and Sanusi, who claimed not to know the implication of their actions, however, pleaded for mercy, with the latter vowing never to get close to anywhere or anything that has to do with UTME.