By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
No fewer than five people have been arrested by Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for various registration infractions in the ongoing 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to be conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB).
The fraudsters were arrested from various location of the country where they were perpetuating their nefarious activities.
They were arrested in Oyo, Ogun and Maiduguri by officers and men of the NSCDC and brought to Abuja where startling revelations of their operations were made.
In the presence of the Commandant General, NSCDC, Alhaji Abdullahi Gana Mohamadu, the fraudsters confessed to numerous registration infractions that the board couldn’t imagine.
The board’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, who disclosed this in a statement, said some of the registration thieves are Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres owners licensed by JAMB to conduct registration exercise for the candidates planning to take the forthcoming UTME.
He said more worrisome is the massive investment by E- Kindle CBT centres to penetrate the Airtel system in use by the board to perpetrate all forms of wholesome practices.
“They register candidates without proper biometric which means such candidates will have problems with their details during examination if not corrected immediately.
“From investigation at the headquarters of the NSCDC, it was clear that they had powerful men backing them to thwart the efforts of JAMB. If not, how will you justify them spending over N20 million to construct a radio platform just to hack into the Board’s registration exercise if not to destroy the entire system and put JAMB in bad light?
“Some of the location from which these criminal elements were operating include Oyo, Ogun and Kwara States.”
JAMB had given access code only to accredited CBT centres to partake in the registration exercise but these operators in turn used the privilege information at their disposal in connivance with Honey comb centre and Bright international for pecuniary motive and create confusion for the examination body as procedures, guidelines and standards were compromised.
In Maiduguri, the board discovered that their router meant for Abia State was being used in Maiduguri to register candidates.
Unknown to them, the access codes are personalised coupled with features to detect abuses aimed at circumventing the registration process. They fraudulently tried to manipulate the system to give a semblance of the board platform to deceive candidates as if a valid registration have been carried out.
“These registration thieves deployed fake biometric capturing mechanisms and super-imposed registration slip just to satisfy the curiosity of innocent candidates that their registration was successful and on the day of examination such candidates data would either be edited, or not found on the JAMB data base, such candidates would not be verified during the examination proper.
“This investigation has clearly shown that the Board under Prof. Is-haq Oloyede may be in for a bigger fight given his stand on anti-corruption.”