2020 UTME: Pastor, wife, two others convicted of extortion

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB)has secured the conviction of a pastor and his wife and two others for the extortion of candidates in the sales of the ongoing 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) application documents.

The four persons who were agents of accredited sale outlets were arrested by officers of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nasarawa State Command for selling the application documents above the prescribed price of N4000 and have been sentenced to three years in prison each.

According to a statement by the Head of Public Affairs, JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, on Tuesday in Abuja said the accused were convicted on Monday, January 27, 2020, by a Magistrate Court in Lafia, Nasarawa State, where they had pleaded guilty to the charges.

The four convicted are Mr Ujaku Emem Samuel, who claimed to be a pastor and his wife, Mrs Peace Emem Samuel; Mr Opulani Joseph Sunupe and Mr Umar Musa Sa’adu.

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Before the commencement of the sale of 2020, UTME/DE application documents on 13th January 2020 the sale outlets and their agents were adequately briefed by the Board on the cost and procedures for vending the ePINs.

The price of the ePINS was fixed at N3500 while that of the Reading Text was  N500 totalling N4000.

A commission of N210 from the N3500 due to the Board is given to the sale outlets as a commission on each pin sold to motivate them as well as dissuade them from exploiting candidates.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government, in a bid to lessen the burden on parents, had directed that the UTME application documents be sold at N3500 down from N5000 charged earlier.

Benjamin said: “Therefore, it is rather unfortunate that in spite of all the warnings and appeals as well as the offer of a fat commission by the Board, some sale agents still deemed it fit to test the resolve of the Board and the Federal Government by doing the contrary.

“This conviction is only the first in the series of ongoing prosecution of cases in several courts of law across the country, and, as such, many more convictions are being expected in due course.

“All sale outlets and their agents charged with the vending of the ePINs are hereby warned, in their own interest, to desist from engaging in sharp practices or face the consequences.

“Anyone who sells the ePINs above the regulated price would certainly, be arrested and prosecuted as each ePIN comes with a unique identifier for ease of tracking.

“Similarly, candidates are also warned to desist from paying more than the prescribed price as they can be culpable of aiding and abetting corrupt acts.

“The Board also wish to inform the general public that it welcomes credible and actionable reports of persons or centres exploiting candidates by selling above the regulated price,” he said.

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