The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has described as fake, a trending report that scores of candidates, who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) are being reduced.
The board, in a statement signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Fabian Benjamin, in Abuja, said the report was false.
JAMB said that an investigation carried out discovered that the fake news emanated from a gang, who coordinated from a town called Igarra in Edo state with affiliates in Lagos and other states.
The board described the act as fraudulent and meant to extort parents and candidates.
“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 centres are completed and publicly announced.
“Only the fraudulent candidates or parents stand being defrauded on this matter,” the board said.
Mr. Benjamin had in an interview on Sunday, warned candidates not to be carried away by rumours and misleading information in some sections of the media, especially the social media. He also said that the board distances itself from such rumours about releasing results of candidates of the just concluded UTME and steps to check these results as being speculated.
The 2019 UTME was conducted nationwide from April 11 to 18, with more than 1.8 million candidates registered for the examination.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 100 examination cheats have so far been arrested by security operatives across the country during the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said.
JAMB’s spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, said the fraudsters were engaged in multiple registrations to facilitate impersonation during the examination.
The board noted that the act was inflating annual registration of the UTME exercise by up to 30 per cent. JAMB also said that data available to it showed that the unwholesome practice was prevalent in virtually all the states of the federation, including Abuja.
Among the persons arrested was a notorious cheat, who had registered about 64 times in a bid to “ghost-write” for 64 candidates.
The examination body said 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 ghostwriters before the release of the results.
JAMB also said that it had cancelled the results of two Computer Based (CBT) centres in Abia over what it described as “widespread irregularities” during the UTME.
The board gave the names of the CBT centres as Heritage and Infinity CBT centre and Okwyzil Computer Institute Comprehensive School Ugwunabo, Aba, Abia.
It said the drastic action was necessitated by the visual evidence obtained 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,” it said.
The examination body, however, apologised to innocent candidates involved in the relocation for the inconveniences they may have suffered, reaffirming its commitment to providing equal opportunity to all candidates to articulate their hopes and aspirations.
The body said that all the results of the examination sessions conducted by the board in the two centres from April 11 to 18 were null and void. (NAN)