2020 UTME: how CBT centres illegally registered candidates
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has shut down 38 Computer Based Test, CBT, centres and ordered the arrest of their operators over alleged cyber-crimes and fraudulent registration of candidates for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.
The CBT owners were arrested in Abuja last Wednesday and driven away by the police in two coaster buses after being lured to the headquarters of JAMB in Bwari for a stakeholders’ meeting.
Their arrest followed a sting operation conducted by JAMB, which uncovered massive fraud perpetrated by the sales agents and 48 computers were recovered as evidence from their centres located across the six geopolitical zones.
JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who briefed the press, at a meeting attended by personnel of the Force Intelligence Bureau, said the CBT owners were engaged in multiple infractions, and extended the Virtual Private Network, VPN, of the board to various outposts where they carried out illegal registration of candidates.
According to Oloyede, the alleged fraudsters were being tracked through a dedicated network of the exam body, which records activities of every system used for the purpose of registering UTME, owner of the system and the centre where it was used.
“We have the identity of every machine that is being used because it is being captured by our own system. So we can know the address, everything and the owner of the system,” he said.
On the fate of those registered under the extended VPN, he warned that candidates who were beneficiaries of the cyber-crimes would not be allowed to write the 2020 UTME, while blaming parents of the applicants for being too much in a hurry to get their children registered.
“We have published the list of all the centres, they are available in all our state offices. And even those we have black-listed including their own centres, we have put them there, blacklisted.
“Let people register only in approved proper CBT centres. And no candidate should give his password, his code to anybody, not even to your parents.
“Help us appeal to candidates and their parents to go through the normal process; all those candidates that are being defrauded knew that they were not registering at the right place and they were going there thinking that it will work, but it will not work. And when it does not work, that time the person would be saying oh JAMB does not know what it is doing,” he said.
Some of the crimes allegedly committed by the CBT centres include: submission of fictitious names to falsely obtain JAMB usernames, use of fictitious National Identification Numbers, NIN, for the purpose of registration, among others.
The JAMB boss said a prima face’ case of cyber-crime has been established against the e-pin vendors and handed them to the police for further investigation and prosecution.
“As far as we are concerned, a prima face’ case of cyber-crime has been established against them. That’s why we allow your interaction with them. They will go and give their statements to the police. Yours is just to arrest, you cannot say you will go to prison. It’s beyond you. It’s the judge who can determine that.
“We have the representative of IG here who will then take over from here. It is now left for the law enforcement agents to deal with the matter,” he said.
He therefore urged Computer Based Test, CBT, centres to ensure that they strictly adhere to JAMB’s rules of conducting UTME registration, while warning students to stay away from blacklisted centres and only register with approved ones.
“Other CBT centres should keep within the regulations; we have told you not to extend; when we ask you to register candidates, register them according to the rules, nothing should be done outside the law should be done,” he said.
However, the arrested CBT owners unanimously chorused their protest by saying “no sir,” when the registrar alleged that they engaged in illegal registration by creating an outpost from the usual centres where they carried out their alleged crimes.
The CBT operators further protested their innocence by insisting the alleged infractions were carried out by some their staff without their knowledge.
Oloyede however told them to be ashamed of their actions haven supplied fictitious names to JAMB for e-pin collection and refused to produce computers that the crimes were traced to.