The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Friday handed over to the police a 21-year-old candidate in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Chinedu Ifesinachi John, who had visited JAMB office in company of his father, John Ifenkpam, and a lawyer, Ikeazor Akaiwe, to defend his allegation of ‘alteration’ of his result by the examination body.
The candidate had consistently accused JAMB of inconsistencies in the results it awarded him since 2019 when he claimed he sat his first UTME.
According to the young John, JAMB had always sent him two conflicting results since he started to take part in its examination, saying the development had cost him much damage.
He reportedly said; “The result I have been receiving is not the result I am entitled to. I wrote the first JAMB in 2019. The first time they sent 328, later I saw a 278 score when I checked it. I printed it. That year, I couldn’t meet up for admission because I had wanted to study medicine and surgery at the University of Ibadan.
“In 2020 the same thing happened. I scored 343 by the time I went to the portal to print I saw 306. I used the 306 and it gave me admission in UI. But because I didn’t have further mathematics I had to forfeit it.
“I decided to leave medicine and surgery for them in 2021, so I picked petroleum engineering. Again, in 2021, JAMB issued me two results. I saw 380 the first time I checked, then the second time I saw 265.”
Following what the family described as the setbacks caused the candidate due to the examination body’s alleged alteration of his results, Mr Akaiwe, was approached for redemption purposes.
According to reliable sources, the lawyer wrote the examination body a letter of complaint and demanded N1 billion as cost of damages caused his client by the JAMB’s alleged inconsistencies.
The lawyer had threatened to sue the examination body if it failed to meet his demand.
Resolution meeting called
On Friday, the candidate in company of his father and his lawyer arrived the JAMB’s headquarters in Bwari Area of Abuja, the federal capital territory, where JAMB officials led by its registrar, Is-haq Ooyede, reportedly provided evidences of its transactions with the candidate since 2019, and exonerated itself from any wrongdoing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Mr Oloyede had accused the candidate of deliberately altering the result and adding that there is no evidence that JAMB sent two different results to the candidate at any time at the different times within the last three years as alleged by the candidate.
The registrar was quoted as saying: “We will give you five minutes for your child to tell you the truth. If he doesn’t tell you the truth and come back we will show you what your son has done and hand him over to the police.
“Who is helping you to do it? How much did you pay? if you don’t tell your father the truth we will hand you over to the police and you must be prosecuted.”
Mr Oloyede said there are 10 other candidates in a similar situation as the young John, saying the results of all the 11 alleged culprits would be suspended pending thorough investigation and prosecution of the matter.
“There was never any communication of 380 with this boy. Because this boy has accused JAMB, we are going to withhold his result until the investigation is concluded. We are going to request that our interactions with him be subjected to the public.
“As far as I am concerned I am reporting you to the IG (police boss) now except you tell me who helped you to commit this crime,” the registrar added.
The candidate was subsequently handed over to the police for prosecution.
According to reliable sources within the examination body, what the candidate did was to save a number with JAMB’s code of 55019 on another phone and then he usually sends his preferred scores to himself with the saved number “to appear as if the message emanates from the board.”
A source said; “It is unknown to these people that technology can expose all their crooked ways. Everything we do is recorded and all our partner mobile operators understand why records are important.
“So when we opened the query portal for them and we revealed the number they saved with 55019 to generate the concocted results they were shocked. JAMB is far ahead of the criminals.”
The registrar said apart from falsely accusing JAMB, the candidate would also face the wrath of the law for forgery.
Tutorial centre as accomplice?
Meanwhile, the registrar noted that preliminary investigations have shown that the candidate was in touch with a particular tutorial centre in Enugu, and vowed that the accomplice centre would be tracked down for prosecution.
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According to Oloyede, tutorial owners are at the heart of examination malpractice in the country. He said the board would not relent in fighting them.
In his reaction, the lawyer to the candidate’s family said he welcomed proper investigation into the matter and urged fair treatment of his client.
He, however, said “he would not sit down and allow the registrar to conclude the trial and sentencing in his office”.
“I will not stand against the investigation. Let there be an investigation but what I will not agree to is to prejudge him,” the lawyer was quoted as saying by The Nation.