Thousands of candidates who sat for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) would have their results withheld for engaging in examination malpractices.
The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Ishaq Oloyede, a professor, stated this in Lagos on Tuesday during the arrest of two children of the owner of a computer-based test (CBT) centre, who confessed to selling fake UTME questions and answers to unsuspecting persons.
The centre- Risk Global Company Limited, which is located on 300, Ikorodu Road, Anthony Village, is owned by a former banker, Emeka Ukpai.
The suspects, Godswill Ukpai and David Ukpai, are his first and second son respectively. They confessed to taking pictures of UTME questions on the screens during examinations at their father’s centre, and that same questions are sold to the owner of a private tutorial centre in Lagos.
They gave the name of the tutorial centre as Embassy, and that the unnamed operator of the tutorial centre usually brings candidates to their centre for registration and examination.
Their father said he regretted the action and that he consents to them being tried in the court of law.
He said; “They are old enough to face the music for their actions. They are only allowed into the hall in the morning to help power the computer systems before examination starts. How they got themselves involved in this mess I cannot explain and I feel that they should be tried appropriately.
“It is very unfortunate and regrettable.”
He said Godswill just finished from Abia State University, where he read Accounting, while David did not pass the UTME last year and is registered to sit the examination by 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Also arrested was the CBT centre’s technical staffer, Obinna Ebere, who also confessed to committing same offence.
Mr Ebere, an HND II student of the Department of Civil Engineering at Yaba College of Technology, also said he had been selling the screenshots of the questions to Embassy Tutorial Centre.
A check on his mobile phone also revealed his conversations with the tutorial centre owner and how he charged N5,000 for some of the questions.
Mr Oloyede, who apprehended the suspects during an unscheduled monitoring exercise at the centre, said CCTV installed at the centre and connected to JAMB headquarters, had given out the suspects.
According to him, the suspects, who were not authorised to enter the hall during the examination, usually used the opportunity of the ownership of the centre to illegally gain access.
He, however, said what they were selling to their “customers” is not authentic because each question set for a candidate cannot be repeated until after five years.
Mr Oloyede said the board is committed to ensuring the integrity of its examination and that his efforts are yielding good results.
He said the suspects had tried to cover the CCTV at the centre, but the one at the JAMB office in Abuja gave them out.
According to him, more than 100 suspects have been arrested so far during the examination which is billed to end on Wednesday. He said the deployment of technology has helped to curb malpractice a great measure.
“When a whole professor was sent here as a supervisor, they didn’t know what we meant. The sacrifice by this eminent personalities is to ensure that there is no compromise.
“Prof. Kabir Usman is a former Director of CMD in Lagos and you can see how perfectly he has helped to apprehend these fraudsters. If we had sent a young person, may be they would have just offered the individual N10,000 and the rot would be covered.
“I can assure you that thousands of these candidates wouldn’t have their results released this year because we have caught them red-handed. That is why we would not release any result until we have viewed all the recordings on the CCTV installed across the over 700 centres.”
Meanwhile, Mr Oloyede announced on the spot that the centre was immediately suspended, and that candidates who were billed to take part in the examination at the centre on Wednesday would be rescheduled to other centres.
“The affected candidates would soon receive text messages on where they would sit their examination tomorrow,” he said.
The suspects were immediately handed over to the police.