The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has suspended twenty-two Computer-Based Test Centres for extortion by charging affected candidates more than the prescribed service charge to effect correction of data on candidates’ profiles, JAMBulletin reports in its latest edition.
The weekly publication of the Office of JAMB Registrar stated that “In addition to other infractions, the centres were also discovered to have bypassed a major security feature, the One -Time Password (OTP), which the Board had introduced to temporarily replace biometric verification involving fingerprints as a means of curbing the spread of COVID-19.
These centres, in the course of perpetrating their unwholesome acts, had succeeded in defrauding 11,823 candidates to the tune of about N59m, the bulletin added.
It said the Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, made the announcement during a meeting with representatives of the affected centres on Thursday, 27th August, 2020.
JAMBulletin quoted Oloyede as saying that “The purpose of calling this meeting is to interact with 22 of you (CBT centres) that have grossly violated the provisions of the Board, defrauded Nigerians by collecting fees in excess of approved amounts as well as doing things that endangered the lives of candidates that they were supposed to protect.”
“Some of you were collecting N3, 000 to N5, 000 from candidates for services that were supposed to be provided for N200 as service charge for the centre. It is painful that at each point that we tried to be inclusive in our approach, some bad eggs would want to discourage us.”
Prof. Oloyede pointed out that the centres carried out their fraudulent acts probably because they were unaware of the Board’s capacity to uncover such. He added that to ensure that adequate evidence was obtained for prosecution of the centres involved, the Board had also deployed undercover agents to these centres and paid the illegal fees the centres had demanded. The Registrar similarly told the centres that the Board would continue to deploy both technology and human resources to unearth their nefarious activities.
He stated that as a responsive and responsible organization, the Board would neither condone actions that contravened its rules nor allow greedy individuals to exploit the candidates.
The affected centres are Bright Stars, Aba, Abia State; Flourish Computer Centre, Akwa Ibom State; Ibom-E-Library, Akwa Ibom State; Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, Deacons Digital Solutions Ltd., Federal Poly, Oko, and Mega Dataview, Onitsha, all in Anambra State. Others are Linnet Paul Innovative Institute, Yenagoa and Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State. Diict Nigeria CBT, Gateway Edutech and Gifted Hands Science and Technology; NABTEB ICT Training Centre; Samuel Adegboyega University and Supreme ICT Foundation, all in Edo State. Enugu State has Elco ICT, Nsukka; Peaceland and Stalwart Solutions and Union ICT.
In Kaduna State there is Time Online ICT, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna, while Lagos State has Duntro High School, Surulere and Elite BusinessConsult, Ikorodu. While Rivers State has Ave Maria International Academy, Rumuodara, Port Harcourt.
The Registrar declared that these centres are, henceforth, suspended pending other appropriate punishments that would be meted out to them by the JAMB Governing Board adding that any centre that shared the same ownership with the affected ones stands suspended. In addition, he said the affected CBT centre owners would also be prosecuted while all the fraudulent transactions they had undertaken would be reversed. He, however, stated that the money paid to JAMB by the candidates to effect the changes remain intact on their profile.
JAMBulletin disclosed that “ Already the Board has initiated steps to prosecute the erring CBT centres to serve as deterrent to others while warning parents, students and other stakeholders to always ensure that they are not used to c ircumvent laid down rules and regulations. All candidates affected in these centres are advised to change their passwords to avoid further damage following the exposure of their details to third-parties. Some of the affected centres owners who spoke, apologised to the Board profusely for engaging in such shameful acts while pleading for forgiveness as they blamed the problem on their technical staff.”