Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A Magistrate Court in Lafia, Nasarawa State, has convicted four sales agents of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for selling the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) application documents above the prescribed price of N4, 000.
The convicts, Ujaku Emem Samuel, who claimed to be a pastor and his wife, Peace Emem Samuel, Opulani Joseph Sunupe and Umar Musa Sa’adu, were handed three years in jail each by the court after they pleaded guilty of the offence.
JAMB spokesman Dr Fabian Benjamin, in a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, commended the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who effected the arrest.
He said the conviction is the first in the series of ongoing prosecution of cases in several courts of law across the country, and, as such, many more convictions are being expected in due course.
He said the arrest and prosecution would serve as a warning to sales agents who extort candidates, thereby sabotaging the efforts of JAMB and Federal Government that recently reduced the cost of application documents.
He explained: “Before the commencement of the sale of 2020, UTME/DE application documents on 13th January 2020, sales outlets and their agents were adequately briefed by the Board on the cost and procedures for vending the ePINs.
“The price of the ePINS was fixed at N3, 500 while that of the Reading Text was N500 totalling N4, 000. A commission of N210 from the N3, 500 due to the Board is given to the sale outlets as a commission on each pin sold to motivate them as well as dissuade them from exploiting candidates.
“It’s rather unfortunate that in spite of all the warnings and appeals as well as the offer of a fat commission by the Board, some sale agents still deemed it fit to test the resolve of the Board and the Federal Government by doing the contrary.”
He warned sales outlets and their agents charged with the vending of the ePINs to desist from engaging in sharp practices or face the consequences.
“Anyone who sells the ePINs above the regulated price would certainly, be arrested and prosecuted as each ePIN comes with a unique identifier for easy tracking. Candidates should also desist from paying more than the prescribed price as they can be culpable of aiding and abetting corrupt acts,” he said.