The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), on Monday paraded two of its workers for allegedly extorting money from Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates with a promise to help them secure admissions.
The affected staff, who is a level 12 officer in Delta State JAMB’s office, confessed to collecting N500,000 from four candidates’ parents, out of which he paid N180,000 to another colleague, a level 8 officer, to help facilitate their admissions.
But the issue came to the public domain when one of the parents in Delta State petitioned JAMB on the level 12 officer’s activities, a move that prompted the organisation to open up an investigation into the issue.
The indicted officer told journalists at JAMB headquarters on Monday evening in Abuja that he engaged in the fraudulent act because of economic hardship.
However, a mild drama ensued when his accomplice, a level 8 officer, who had earlier claimed he was into fish business with the level 12 officer, admitted that his involvement in the act might not be “ordinary.”
The level 8 officer, who works at the headquarters, claims he may have been hypnotised by his colleague to engage in the shady deals, adding that he only got to know the former by phone last year through a third party.
He said, “It was not ordinary, he was just calling me, I don’t know him. He lured me into this when he convinced me that he has been into it for a long time.”
Expressing surprise, the Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, who said that the affected staff defied his zero tolerance for corruption, vowed to ensure they face the full wrath of the law.
He said, “Anybody who engages in sharp practices, no matter who the person is, shall not be protected by the Board because the Board has zero-tolerance for corruption.”
Oloyede advised parents and candidates not to allow anyone to collect money from them in the guise of helping to secure admission to their chosen institution as the system is now fully automated.
He said, “The admission exercise into tertiary institutions has been automated, therefore anybody working in JAMB or anybody who has good calculation, who knows what admission process is, can predict who can be admitted because it has been automated.
“What is happening now is that people know those that will be admitted, because they know by the automation this person could be admitted, and they now go and be extorting the parents of those that have already been slated for admission.
“We need to let the public know that there is no halfway to admission, nobody should bribe or give any amount to anybody whether they are JAMB staff or they are not JAMB staff. Anybody who solicits money from any parent, the parent should inform the Board.”