JAMB: Police officer arrested for malpractice - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

JAMB: Police officer arrested for malpractice

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By Our Correspondent

A personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), identified as  Mr Etim Israel, has been arrested for engaging another person to sit for him in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

Israel, a constable serving  in Akwa Ibom State command of the NPF admitted  to the crime saying, he paid the sum of N30,000 to engage the services of the mercenary (a teacher), one Emmanuel- now on the run,  to sit for the exam as he was away on special duties.

He told newsmen that the exam was registered in his name while  the impersonator used his picture and other biometric details to sit for the exam.

Israel said after scoring over 240 in the exam and decided to commence  the admission’s process, he was told that he won’t sail through because of the disparity in the picture,  which prompted him to visit JAMB’s office for correction, a move that landed him in trouble.

“I went to their (JAMB) office to change my picture when they told me (in Akwa Ibom) that I won’t be able to use the result because of the picture,” Israel said.

The Police Constable in an emotion-laden voice appealed to JAMB to temper justice with mercy, promising to help the Board in investigating issues of impersonation in UTME.

Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede,  who said Israel will be prosecuted in accordance with the law, expressed concern  on the antics of some candidates that try to circumvent watertight measures put in place to prevent impersonation.

He cited an instance where a woman’s name appeared on the registration list and a man would attempt to sit on her behalf.

“When some candidates complain that they have registered for our examination but could not be verified on the day of examination, many do not grasp the full import of their claims as such candidates, who are more often than not impersonators, expected to be allowed to enter the examination hall without undergoing necessary searches.

“However, in the last UTME, the Board introduced the taking of a snapshot of the candidate who claims they could not be verified and comparing the new picture with the one in our database. 

“As a result of this innovation, only very few cases of impersonation were recorded compared with the number in the past,” he said.

The JAMB boss added that the  number of candidates that had challenges with verification dropped from  70,000 in 2019 to 4,900 this year.

He however assured candidates that had genuine verification challenges during the 2020 UTME, that the Board would fix a new date for them to write the exam.

On  Etim, Prof. Oloyede said the policeman was one of the 657 candidates that requested for change of picture in their registration profiles, adding that he was arrested where he could not give convincing reasons, before he later confessed to engaging a mercenary in the exam.

He added that the Board may not have the capacity to ensure the robust  prosecution of all those involved in impersonation during the UTME, but will select some from across the country to face the wrath of the law.