KINGSLEY Unekwe is 18 years previous. He sat for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Ordinarily, by now, Unekwe should both have written the post-UTME examination in his college of selection or concluded his admission processes within the faculty. But, as a substitute, he’s battling to save lots of himself from being despatched to jail.
Perhaps, if he had recognized the implications of participating in illegal alteration of 1’s unique UTME outcomes, he might not have tried it. But, like most younger folks of his age, Unekwe might not have thought by the implications of his act.
JAMB accused him of manipulating the unique end result issued to him by the board in May this 12 months, from 201 to 269. He later confessed to the crime throughout a sitting on the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, earlier than a panel arrange by JAMB to probe circumstances of alleged ‘double results’ witnessed this 12 months.
Unekwe is one among 4 UTME candidates, who might quickly be arraigned in courtroom for allegedly altering their examination outcomes. The different three are – Adah Eche (19), Cletus Kokowa, and Rejoice Mordi (19). They had been all apprehended between June and September this 12 months by JAMB and handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.
Eche was arrested on June 24 for allegedly altering his rating from 153 to 290.
The 19-year-old allegedly confessed to the crime. He confessed that some social media customers (whose identities he did not disclose) helped him to change the outcomes.
He stated the unknown social media customers claimed they might alter JAMB outcomes. Eche stated he known as the numbers offered by the fraudsters to hunt their assist so as to add to his rating. What turned out to be a pretend end result slip was later despatched to him.
Kokowa was arrested in Abuja on July four by officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on an allegation that he engaged a syndicate to change his rating from 162 to 206 after paying N10, 000.
Mordi was apprehended on September eight for allegedly altering her rating from 164 to 264. The candidate advised JAMB that she bought the pretend outcomes from an agent recognized as Iyanu Oluwa by WhatsApp.
JAMB seeks prosecution
JAMB Registrar Prof. Is-haq Oloyede has vowed to make sure that Unekwe and others are prosecuted by the regulation of the land. Oloyede stated his company has recorded 5 of such circumstances of candidates caught in end result falsification.
How the bubble burst
Unekwe would have been an undergraduate by now, however for his father or mother’s disapproval. When he wrote the examination in 2018, he scored 232 in that 12 months’s UTME and was supplied admission by JAMB to review Geology. But his father, a professor of Medicine of over 30 years standing, was stated to have rejected the course, insisting that his son should examine medication. His dad and mom wished him to review medication on the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Earlier this 12 months, when Unekwe offered his 2019 UTME rating to his dad and mom, they had been completely satisfied, pondering that their son was on an excellent path to ending up in the identical career as his father. Unekwe was stated to have offered 269, as his rating, to his mom, which she printed to course of his admission into the college.
When the college invited him for the post-UTME take a look at, discrepancies had been seen in his rating. What the college had from JAMB as his rating was 201, whereas he paraded 269 as his rating. Subsequent checks of the end result from JAMB portal confirmed his earlier rating of 201.
Angered by the confusion, Unekwe’s dad and mom precipitated a petition to be written to JAMB, through which they amongst others, blamed the examination physique for the inconsistencies and demanded that it corrected the error within the end result launched to their son.
At the receipt of the petition, JAMB invited the offended dad and mom to its headquarters in Bwari, Abuja, and subsequently to the sitting of its probe panel, which sat in Sheraton Hotels, Abuja. But solely his mom turned up with the son. The panel of the investigation was notably arrange by the board to have a look at circumstances of alleged double outcomes by candidates, arising from the conduct of the 2019 UTME.
Initially, Unekwe had tried to play a wise one on the board by insisting that the 269 UTME rating was his unique end result, not realizing that the software program utilized by JAMB had registered his actions.
For a very long time, he maintained his preliminary story, insisting that he by no means tampered with the UTME end result issued to him. At some level, his story nearly made him the sufferer. But that story quickly modified after he was proven proof of the a number of makes an attempt he made to test his end result.
In the course of the panel’s proceedings, members excused mom and son to allow them to have a personal second the place the mom conversed together with his son on the difficulty. When they returned about 30 minutes later, the story modified.
Unekwe advised members of the panel and reporters (who witnessed the proceedings) how he allegedly manipulated the preliminary rating to replicate the 269.
He stated: “When JAMB launched outcomes, folks had been checking and I used to be checking mine and nothing was popping out. People had been checking and getting their outcomes, so I gave a buddy my cellphone to assist me test. When he got here, he confirmed me 269 as a screenshot.
“But after I went to my room and shut my door and checked, I noticed 201. I used to be shocked and checked once more, it was 201, that was when my dad known as if I had seen my end result and I stated no, I’ve not seen it but. He now stated okay, I ought to go away until the subsequent day.
“The next day, I still saw 201. I was now confused. When my parents asked again, I showed them 269.”
Reacting to the flip of occasion, the mom stated she felt betrayed and dumbfounded by the boy’s revelation that 201 was his precise rating. “I’m dumbfounded. Had it been he told me all this, we won’t have come here,” she stated.
Unekwe’s case brings to the fore a doable detrimental impact of parental affect on youngsters, as usually famous by Oloyede. He had repeatedly blamed dad and mom for the growing charge of examination malpractices within the nation.
Oloyede had accused dad and mom of placing strain on their youngsters past their energy. He as soon as argued that the strain from dad and mom usually prevents youngsters from specializing in their areas of energy.
“Because your father is a professor of Medicine, he needs you to review Medicine in any respect value. That is the issue; that’s the place dad and mom create issues for his or her youngsters and that’s the reason you bought your self concerned in any such faking in different to persuade them.
“You are the fifth particular person. Two of them are already being prosecuted as a result of we confirmed them clearly that they solid their outcomes to deceive their determined dad and mom like your dad and mom are so that you can examine medication.
“We will prosecute you for attempting to damage the image of the board. We told your father that we have all the facts, if we find out that the facts are not correct you will be prosecuted,” he stated about Unekwe’s case.
What the regulation says
Under the Criminal Code Act (relevant within the Southern a part of the nation), forgery is an offence. The Act gives, in Chapter 44, two to 3 years jail time period, with an possibility of tremendous, as punishment for forgery. The Penal Code Act (relevant within the Northern half) additionally has comparable provisions (with a most of 14 years), the place the guilt of the alleged offender is proved.
On the offence of forgery, the Criminal Code Act reads: “Any person, who forges any document, writing, or seal, is guilty of an offence which, unless otherwise stated, is a felony, and he is liable if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years.”
The activity earlier than the prosecutor
A rights activist Sunday Essienekak, stated: “Forgery can be found under Section 262-380 of the Penal Code Law of the Federation. And, under the Criminal Code, which is available in the South, the punishment for forgery is about two to three years. The punishment in the south is lower than the punishment in the north. And the provision for forgery in the south is provided under Section 293-312.”
Essienekak, who’s a public curiosity litigation lawyer, added: “If they (alleged offenders) have solid paperwork and are introduced earlier than the courtroom and the courtroom convicts them, the years and phrases of imprisonment can prolong to 14 years imprisonment with an choice to pay tremendous.
“But earlier than they’ll show forgery, the state or JAMB should be capable of present that the doc was solid and that the boy was in possession of that doc and that he had data that that doc was solid and that he wished to dishonestly use it.
“Those are the things that the prosecution must have to scale through. They must prove that the document was forged, they must prove that the guy knew that the document was forged, they must prove that he was in possession of the forged document then they must also prove that he intended to use that document for a purpose either to his advantage or to his disadvantage.”
JAMB’s methods in opposition to malpractices
On JAMB’s methods in opposition to malpractices, Oloyede stated unknown to some fraudsters, the board was forward of them. He stated that JAMB has determined to launch candidates’ outcomes on to establishments of their option to forestall conditions previously the place candidates falsified outcomes and offered them to their establishment for admission.
Also, JAMB’s Head of Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, stated that the board has cancelled the outcomes of the candidates. He stated that anyone who does post-result infractions can have their outcomes withdrawn by the board.
Benjamin stated that the board would proceed to behave responsibly in its struggle in opposition to infractions. The JAMB spokesperson stated that whosoever was discovered wanting can be handled in accordance with established legal guidelines regardless of his/her place within the society.
He stated: “Our main preoccupation on this space is to maintain the assorted legal guidelines regarding examination malpractices lively, we is not going to abdicate our obligations and whoever is discovered wanting can be handled in accordance with established norms and legal guidelines regardless of his/her place within the society. Our workers should not exempted from this renewed resolve on the board.
“To announce clearly that it’s not enterprise as common, the board has unfold its anti-examination malpractice dragnets to all nooks and crannies of the nation. Malpractices because it impacts public examination, implied infractions earlier than the conduct of examination, throughout registration, on the conduct of examination and after an examination.
“Even when admitted, a candidate could possibly be apprehended and accordingly punished if discovered to have benefited from such unholy acts. The excellent news right here is that we’re dedicated to screening candidates all by the processes even after they’re admitted.
“At the second we’re working checks on candidates at the moment in our tertiary establishments by a number of platforms and as soon as anybody is caught, he/she is not going to solely be expelled however prosecuted.
“We advised any candidate who had benefited from any infraction to own up before it’s too late and for upcoming candidates to stay away from such acts as with our present facilities, they will certainly be caught.”
JAMB’s deterrent measures
The JAMB spokesperson defined that over 200 candidates had been arrested for one infraction or one other through the 2019 UTME.
He stated among the candidates had been arrested throughout registration train and are being prosecuted, including that the board has secured a number of convictions in Zamfara and Kebbi states.
“A superb quantity was equally arrested throughout the principle conduct and after the examination, some had been arrested for end result falsification.
“The latest arrests are these arrested for end result falsification. About seven candidates had been arrested for falsifying outcomes and claiming that the board issued them two separate outcomes.
“Such candidates had been invited to come back ahead with their claims and when confronted with proofs they confessed that they solid the outcomes attributable to strain from their dad and mom for them to learn programmes that require larger rating and since they scored much less they determined to falsify the outcomes not realizing that they could possibly be detected.
“These candidates are presently being prosecuted and the board is determined to follow up to ensure that they are convicted to serve as a deterrent to other,” he added.