By Gabriel Dike, Lagos
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says 17 staff of the Board are currently under investigation for alleged admission racketeering.
JAMB Registrar Prof Is-haq Oloyede has vowed to prosecute admission offenders and warned against inducement and bribe taking by either staff, candidates or their parents.
On March 17, two staff of JAMB were arrested and paraded before newsmen for extorting money from Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates with the promise to help them secure university admission.
One of the staff, a level 12 officer in Delta State JAMB office, was said to have collected N500,000 from the parents of four candidates, out of which he paid the second staff to help facilitate their admission.
JAMB, in its weekly bulletin dated March 22, said 17 members of staff have been alleged to be part of the admission infraction, adding: ‘One thing that gladdens the Board is that only a few have denied their involvement despite available evidence.’
Among the staff alleged to have been involved in admission infraction include two assistant directors, two chief admin officers, three assistant chief admin officers, four principal admin officers, four senior admin officers, one admin officer 1 and a chief clerical officer.
Oloyede, who expressed surprise that the affected staff had brazenly disregarded the Board’s zero tolerance for corruption, vowed to ensure that they face the full wrath of the law.
‘The admission exercise into tertiary institutions has been fully automated. Therefore, any staff or any other person, for that matter, who knows about the admission process, can reasonably predict who can be admitted.
‘If your child is qualified, he would be admitted and that is why we have provided a solution that enables candidates to check their admission status online.
‘What is happening now is that people know those that will be admitted based on the performance of such candidates, among others, and they will go and extort money from the parents of these candidates who had already been slated for admission.’
Prof Oloyede called on parents and candidates not to fall for the antics of anyone wishing to extort money from them in the guise of helping to secure admission for their wards in their institutions of choice as the system is now fully automated.
He warned parents and candidates from exhibiting acts of desperation which could make them fall victims of criminal elements declaring that Central Admission Process System (CAPS) had automated the admission platform in such a way that no individual could assist any candidate if he/she is not qualified to be so admitted.
Oloyede cautioned members of staff of the Board against engaging in shady deals stating that the Board would not spare anyone found to have indulged in acts contrary to its operational code.
The Registrar stressed that the Board has zero tolerance for corruption and expects its staff to be above board by upholding the provisions of the code. He said as a tradition, staff found to have breached the code of ethics of the Board are punished more severely than their external collaborators.
He explained that the Board would de-admit any candidate who directly or indirectly or on whose behalf any gratification is offered to any of the key players in the admission process. He also promised to reward any candidate who blows the whistle on any compromised stakeholder.
‘Anybody who engages in sharp practices, no matter who the person is, shall not be protected by the Board because it has zero tolerance for corruption,’ he said.