The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has cancelled the registrations of 817 candidates in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Registrar of JAMB, Professor Is-haq Oloyede, who made this known on Tuesday after separate meetings with stakeholders, said the registrations were invalidated over identified infractions bordering on the use of strange biometric fingerprints in the registration process.
While saying 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, Oloyede, however, said the 817 students would be given another opportunity to re-register for the exam with the centres bearing the cost.
He said: “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. And you allowed him to add 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 of them. All the registrations and we will ask them to re-register.
“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.”
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 can bring about impersonation in the exam as well as give such ‘strange’ persons access to change vital details including the 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.
Speaking on the recent suspension of five CBT Centres for selling UTME registration pins above the stipulated price, the JAMB boss said four of the five have been let off the hook.
He, however, said the excess payment 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 an investigation (on the centre).
“As for those who overcharged, all the candidates who overpaid we are compiling the list. The overpayment will be paid by those vendors and those institutions to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
“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. I believe the money should not go back to them because we told them not to pay but now that they have paid we will recover the money and pay it to the appropriate government agency because if we retain it, they will say JAMB is looking for money, we are not looking for dirty money, we will therefore return the money to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, so as decides by the law, they can even take it to a charity home and give it to those in need.”
Earlier during a virtual meeting with the candidates who had others donating their fingers (fingerprints) to them during their registration process, many of the students admitted the act while others claimed ignorance.