A 19-year-old candidate in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination has been arrested by the police for allegedly tampering with the UTME result.
The spokesman of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Fabian Benjamin, said the arrest followed the suspect’s claim of scoring 380 in the examination conducted in June this year and was surprised to receive 265 from the board after the results were released.
“After several enquiries, 265 kept appearing as his score as against the 380 score,” JAMB spokesman said via a statement issued on Friday.
Following the alleged alteration of the UTME score, Benjamin said the teenager’s father, John Ifenkpam approached an Enugu-based lawyer, Ikeazor Akaiwe who wrote to JAMB for another opportunity for the boy to retake the examination and demanded N1 billion as damages.
The lawyer was said to have demanded the sum to cover for the physical and emotional trauma the boy had being through from being offered “two separate scores.”
According to JAMB spokesman, the suspect claimed that his UTME scores from 2019 till 2021 had been “altered” by the board, thereby denying him the opportunity to study his desired course – medicine.
It was gathered that the candidate travelled to Abuja from Enugu with his father and lawyer on Friday to honour an invitation from the management of the board led by the Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede.
“Initially, the boy was given few minutes to “come clean” in a closed session with his father and lawyers about the results he was parading but insisted that his original score from the examination was 380.
“After going back and forth, the board tendered evidence to counter the claim by John and his legal representatives.
At the Friday meeting, documentary evidence tendered by the board showed that John actually scored 265 not the 380 he had claimed,” the statement added.
On his part, the JAMB Registrar accused the candidate of result tempering, noting that he will be investigated and subsequently prosecuted by the police.
Professor Oloyeded said he was among 11 eleven other candidates who allegedly forged their results that the board would prosecute, adding that the original result issued would be withdrawn pending the end of the investigation.
“We have 11 of them who tampered with their results. Two of them are already being prosecuted. The remaining ones we are going to withdraw their results and prosecute them. The main purpose is to sanitise the system, including our own staff,” the Registrar was quoted as saying.
“There was never any communication of 380 with this boy. Because this boy has accused JAMB, we are going to withhold his result until the investigation is concluded. We are going to request that our interactions with him be subjected to the public.”
On his part, the candidate’s lawyer, Ikeazor, appealed to the board to instead give room for further infestation.
He said, “I will not stand against the investigation. Let there be an investigation but what I will not agree to is to prejudge him.”
But the candidate had insisted that “The result I have been receiving is not the result I am entitled to. I wrote the first JAMB in 2019. The first time they sent 328 later I saw 278 score when I checked it. I printed it. I couldn’t meet up for admission that year. I wanted to study medicine and surgery at the University of Ibadan.
“In 2020 the same thing happened. I scored 343 by the time I went to the portal to print I saw 306. I used the 306 and it gave me admission in UI. But because I didn’t have further mathematics, I had to forfeit it.
“I decided to leave medicine and surgery for them in 2021 so I picked petroleum engineering. In 2021, JAMB issued me two results. I saw 380 the first time I checked then the second I saw 265.”