The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has cancelled results of two Computer Based Test (CBT) centres in Abia State over widespread irregularities during the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
It said the cancellation of the results followed visual evidence obtained from a careful review of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) recordings by a panel of experts engaged by the board.
The board said all the results of the examination sessions conducted by the two centres from April 11 to 18, 2019 are therefore “null and void.”
JAMB, in its Weekly Bulletin released in Abuja yesterday by its Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, identified the CBT centres as Heritage and Infinity CBT centre and Okwyzil Computer Institute Comprehensive School, Ugwunabo, Aba.
He said the board has decided to screen the activities of all its CBT centres through CCTV recordings before it can release the results of this year’s UTME.
The spokesperson explained that the measure was to ensure that the board does not release the results of a compromised examination.
He said: “By implication, all the results of all examination sessions starting from April 11, 2019 to 18 April, 2019 conducted by the board at these two centres were cancelled. What occasioned this drastic action by the board was the visual evidence derived 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.
“The board will continue to act decisively with regard to any irregularity discovered even after the results are released. However, the board has made it a point of duty to screen all activities at all centres via CCTV recordings before releasing the results to ensure that it does not release the results of compromised examinations.”
JAMB apologised to innocent candidates involved in the relocation for inconveniencies they may have suffered and reaffirmed its commitment to providing equal opportunity to all candidates to articulate their hopes and aspirations.
No fewer than 100 persons arrested by security operatives for engaging in impersonation and fraudulent practices during the examination.
The board noted that the annual examination had been bedeviled by unwholesome practices by candidates, their parents and other accomplices.
Benjamin said the fraudsters were engaged in multiple registration to facilitate impersonation during the examination, saying that this challenge inflates the annual registration figure for the UTME exercise by 30 per cent.
He said that data available to the board showed that the unwholesome practice was prevalent in virtually all the states, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The JAMB spokesperson said that among those arrested was a notorious cheat who had registered about 64 times in a bit to “ghost-write” for 64 candidates.
According to him, the arrest of the culprits was made possible by the comprehensive and mandatory identity checks conducted on those taking the examination with a view to fishing out professional ghost writers before the release of the results.
“The board, in its unrelenting efforts to stamp out all forms of examination malpractices had synergised with relevant security agencies nationwide to entrap culprits, resulting in their apprehension.”
Also yesterday, the dismissed a report on the alleged reduction of UTME scores as fake.
A trending report claimed yesterday that the scores of candidates were being reduced, a claim the JAMB spokesman said was false.
The report had claimed that scores of candidates who sat for the UTME and were found wanting by the board, were being reduced by 100 marks.
JAMB said that an investigation carried out discovered that the fake news emanated from a gang who coordinated from a town called Igarra, Edo State, with affiliates in Lagos and other states.
The board described the act as fraudulent and meant to extort parents and candidates.
The statement reads: “A gang being coordinated from a town called Igarra in Edo State with affiliates in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia, Anambra and Plateau states are circulating fake notice of impending reduction of UTME scores.
“This is with intent to extort and defraud parents and candidates. Candidates’ results would be received on their registered cell phones as soon as the ongoing scrutiny of the examination centers are completed and publicly announced.
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“Only the fraudulent candidates or parents stand being defrauded on this matter,” the board said.