Heads are set to roll across the country as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has launched a probe into the credentials of applicants dating back to 2009.
This implies that persons who cheated the system to pass the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination to get into school and may have even graduated and participated in the National Youth Service Corps will be arrested and their certificates withdrawn.
As Reported by PUNCH, The Head, Media and Information of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said this during an interview with The PUNCH on Monday.
Benjamin said the probe had begun and it would be completed in record time as JAMB has acquired software which would be able to identify fake biometric data.
Speaking in a separate interview on 95.1 Nigeria Info FM Abuja, the JAMB spokesman said, “We want to do what we call biometric verification dating back to 10 years.
“Even if you are now working and we discovered that someone wrote exams for you, we will publish your name and the law agencies will do the needful.
“We have the biometrics from 10 years ago. We will compare the photos with thumbprints and names.
“We discovered that a candidate could have written exams with 30 different names.”
Explaining how impersonation takes place, Benjamin added, “This is how they operate: My name is Fabian Benjamin, but I will register as Abdullahi Musa and write exams for Abdullahi Musa; but I will use Fabian Benjamin’s picture and biometric data; only the name will be different.
“I will register as John David, as Austin Steven. I will register in the name of anyone that pays me, write exams for that person, but I will use my picture.
“What this means is that when I get into the hall, the biometric data verification will allow me to enter, but I will write the exam for someone else.
“The person for whom exams were written would get into university and, of course, most universities don’t use the pictures of JAMB during admissions. But what we want to enforce now is that the institutions must use the picture of the person.
“We will give the institution the photo and it must match. In fact, only our picture must be accepted by the institution.”
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Speaking with our correspondent during a separate interview, the JAMB spokesman said it had become important to expose exam cheats to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said the photos of those found culpable would be published for all to see, even if they have since started working.
“If you graduated from university and you did not write UTME, it means the foundation is faulty and the building cannot stand.
“We have already started the probe, but we will go deeper after the exams.
“It will not take too long. We are using software, so it will just check the biometric data of candidates and if the biometric data of someone shows about six different names, then it will notify us.
“So, if one person’s photo brings up different names and we have spotted this, we will find out where the person is and then we will pick them up.”
He said the exam body had been able to arrest over 100 persons nationwide for malpractice in the ongoing examinations.
Benjamin said JAMB had written a letter to the Attorney-General of the Federation for advice on their prosecution.
“Even if they are not punished, let the public know that Mr. A who is a doctor became so after someone wrote exams for him.
“That shame alone will serve as a deterrence to others. We must start from 10 years ago, so that others will learn,” he said.