By Favour Ukabiala
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it has cancelled the registrations of 817 candidates in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, made this known in Abuja after separate meetings with stakeholders on Wednesday.
Oloyede said the registrations were invalidated over identified infractions bordering on use of strange biometric fingerprints in the registration process.
He said some registration officers in the affected 178 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres added one of their fingerprints to complete the registration process for the candidates.
According to him, the 817 students will be given another opportunity to re-register for the exam with the centres bearing the cost.
“For the students who allowed other people to add their fingers to their registration procedure, we found that some of them were only naive because you will hear them saying my finger was hot, and the man added his own.
“Some of them did it deliberately for impersonation. But we can’t identify those who are genuine from those who are not genuine. We will cancel all the registrations and we will ask them to re-register.
“As for the centres involved, we have just met with them, and they all confessed, nobody is disputing it, even students that were telling lies; they know we have the technology that won’t allow any lie to be accommodated.
“On their own (CBT owners), they suggested the solution. We will cancel the registrations of those people concerned and we will send a message to them to go back to the very centres where they were registered and the CBT centres will pay to the board the cost of registration of the candidates,” he said.
The JAMB boss revealed that allowing a registration officer or any other person to add his or her finger during capturing of a candidate’s biometric data could bring about impersonation in the exam and give such ‘strange’ persons access to change vital details including exam centre.
“By adding his or her finger to your registration, it means he or she can change all your particulars when you are not there.
“You know your finger is what is used to identify you. The person can change your examination centre like say from Lagos to Ibadan, and on the exam day you won’t be able to write the exam.
“That is why we put in place a device that will throw up any strange finger that is not yours and that is why we were able to identify them,” he added.
Speaking on the recent suspension of five CBT Centres for selling UTME registration pins above the stipulated price, Oloyede said four of the five centres had been let off the hook.
He, however, said the excess payments would be refunded by the affected CBT centres to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for necessary action.
“Those who sold our pins to candidates beyond the approved limit, we have decided to lift the ban on four of the five after they have explained, and they have given us an apology and they have explained what happened.
“One did not come, so we are not lifting the suspension. The four of them, one of them that came, we are still doing investigation on the centre.
“As for those who overcharged, we are compiling the list of all the candidates who overpaid. The overpayments will be paid by those vendors and those institutions to the FCCPC.
“They will pay the money to them and the law will determine what to do because I don’t believe the money should go back to the candidates, because if you can pay N3,000, N5,000, N6,000 above the cost, you do not deserve any sympathy,” Oloyede said.
Earlier during a virtual meeting with the candidates who they donated their fingerprints to during their registration process, many of the students admitted the act, while others claimed ignorance. (NAN)