By Deborah Peter/:
Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB on Tuesday revealed that 20 Computer Based Test, CBT centres, caught trying to change candidates’ picture and other details are from the Northern region.
The Board noted with dismay that the North was fast becoming the epicenter for examination malpractices in the country.
The exam body stated that the fraud was perpetrated in Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Gombe, Bauchi, Borno and Sokoto states.
JAMB said 400 persons, who committed one infraction or the other against the activities of the board was in the custody of security agencies, with over 200 ready for prosecution.
The Board said the 400 candidates involved are currently seeking admissions into institutions across the country with some tertiary institutions as accomplices in the widespread irregularities.
Registrar of JAMB, Prof Is-haq Oloyede stated this during a press briefing while parading two persons nabbed in Kano for allegedly attempting to change a photograph used in last year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME registration in Bayero University, Kano.
According to him, the first 64 cases of CBT infractions currently treated by the board were from the north, with some having multiple cases of up to 96 irregularities.
“This year, we have over 400 people that were caught whereby those who wrote the exams were different from those who applied. We are waiting for the institutions to come up and report activities of the fraudsters.
“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,” the registrar stated.
The registrar vowed that 200 of the candidates would be prosecuted, one from each state of the federation as the board does not have the resources to prosecute all the 400 candidates.
According to him, prosecuting a candidate would cost the board over N500, 000.
Oloyede said: “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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, one Buhari Abubakar, who was caught in an attempt to impersonate and his alleged accomplice in examination malpractice, Muhammad Sanusi, both from Kano state were also paraded before newsmen after being arrested by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.
Abubakar, a candidate of last year’s UTME, had paid Sanusi N25, 000 to source for an examination-taker to sit the UTME for him, on the basis of which he secured admission into Bayero University, Kano, BUK, to read Islamic studies.
“However, the arrangement ran into hitches when all the candidate’s details, including his identity card carried the passport of the hired examination-taker.
This scoop was made possible because, BUK had complied fully with the ministerial directive that only data supplied by candidates during registration should be used by institutions during the fresher’s registration
“Mr. Abubakar had sought ways he could change the passport of the examination-taker to his own but was unsuccessful in the course of which he was arrested.
“Mr. Abdullahi Sarki also arrested had promised to change the passport for the examination taker to that of Mr. Abubakar, which he could not.
“It would be noted that were it not for the implementation of the policy, this particular candidate would have brought in a fresh passport and got himself properly registered into the university without anyone being the wiser,” Oloyede explained.
According to him, the arrest is just one out of many that the board had made in recent times with respect to candidates who hired ‘mercenaries’ to sit the examination only to discover that they cannot change the images and biometric attached to their details.
“The above scenario lends credence to the fact that there is no room for impersonation as whatever informationa candidate provides at the point of UTME/DE registration would be what will be on his/her identity card in the school of his choice and his certificates after graduation, among others.
“With this fateful outcome, it is important that institutions that are yet to fully comply with this ministerial directive do so with immediate effect otherwise they would be seen as aiding and abetting impersonation,” the registrar said.