Past Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) candidates across the country could be affected as the board launches a probe into the credentials of applicants dating back to 10 years ago – in 2009.
Concise News reports that this implies that persons who cheated the system to pass the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to secure admission into the tertiary institutions and may have even graduated and participated in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) will be arrested and their certificates withdrawn.
According to Punch, the Head, Media and Information of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said this during an interview on Monday.
Benjamin stated that the probe had begun and it would be completed in record time as JAMB had 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 noted that “We want to do what we call biometric verification dating 10 years back. 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 biometric data from 10 years ago. We will compare the photos with thumbprints and names. We discovered that a candidate could have taken exams with 30 different names.”
Elucidating how impersonation happens, Benjamin added, “This is how they operate: My name is Fabian Benjamin but I will register as Abdullahi Musa and do exams for Abdullahi Musa but I will use my picture and my 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, do 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 do the exam for someone else.
“The person whom exams were taken on his behalf 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 institutions the photo and it must match. In fact, only our pictures must be accepted by the institutions.”
Furthermore, speaking with The Punch 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 are now working-class persons.
Benjamin said, “If you graduated from university and you did not take 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 agency had been able to arrest over 100 persons nationwide for malpractices in the just-concluded examinations.