About 100 persons have been arrested by security operatives nationwide for engaging in examination infractions, including multiple registrations to facilitate impersonation and selling of examination questions, during the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted from April 11 to 18, 2019.
This was even as the board has said it would not release results for the just concluded examinations until after it has carried out the necessary scrutiny to weed out cheats.
JAMB, in its Weekly Bulletin released by the Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, noted that among those arrested was a notorious cheat who had registered about 64 times in a bid to “ghost-write” for 64 candidates.
While noting that the arrest of the culprits was made possible by the comprehensive and mandatory identity checks conducted on those taking the examination, the board lamented that the data available to it showed that the unwholesome practice was prevalent in virtually all the states of the federation, including Abuja, and was inflating annual registration of the UTME exercise for up to 30 per cent.
“The annual examination had been bedevilled by unwholesome practices of candidates, their parents and other accomplices. In particular is the incident of multiple registrations aimed at facilitating impersonation and “ghost” writing. In addition, recent findings by JAMB with respect to biometrics, facial recognition and names, among others, show that multiple registrations bloat the actual candidates’ registrations in any given year by as much as 30 per cent.
“Among those identified to be arrested was a candidate who registered 64 times in a bid to “ghost-write” examination for 64 candidates since the examination runs for seven days with an average of three shifts per day per centre.
“In a related incident, two candidates were arrested at Risk Global Business Consult, a computer-based test centre situated in Ikorodu, Lagos State, while using their phones to screenshot examination questions which they intend to forward to their accomplices who work for certain tutorial centres.
“Although cell phones are not allowed in the examination halls, the suspects, who are relations of the owner of the CBT centre, brought in the cell phones in order to perpetrate the crime. On interrogation, they confessed to the crime. They stated that they were in the business of selling questions to tutorial centres for N5,000 per screenshot. The Board has since suspended the CBT centre involved in the crime from proceeding with the examination while its scheduled candidates were taken to suitable centres.”
However, the results of two CBT centres: Heritage and Infinity CBT centre and Okwyzil Computer Institute Comprehensive School Ugwunabo, Aba all in Abia State, have been cancelled over what JAMB described as “widespread irregularities” during the conduct of the examinations.
According to the exam body, the drastic action was necessitated by the visual evidence obtained from a careful review of the CCTV recordings by a panel of experts engaged by the Board.
“However, in order not to unduly punish honest and hardworking candidates who found themselves attached to these two centres, the Board magnanimously relocated all the candidates who had taken or were scheduled to take their examination in the two centres to other centres where they had subsequently taken their examinations,” it said.
The exam body has, however, warned candidates to ignore all messages in circulation on how to check the 2019 UTME results, as they were products of deceit by fraudsters.
According to the board, candidates would be able to check their results when they were ready on their mobile phones, using the number they registered with once the results were released, to forestall the incidents of exploitation by “shylock business centres and cybercafes which often take advantage of candidates.