The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has withheld the results of 34,120 candidates in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for alleged examination malpractice.
This is even as a 15-year-old Ekene Franklin from Imo State emerged as the overall best candidate scoring 347 points in the examination.
Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, who announced the results on Saturday in Abuja, however, lamented the high level of examination malpractices perpetrated during the exercise.
He announced that a total of 34,120 results were being withheld over examination malpractices would be subjected to further screening so that innocent candidates were not unnecessarily punished.
He said the board has also cancelled results of those with multiple registrations and who wrote two or more examination with identical fingerprints.
He warned that this was the last time that double registration would be given any consideration, saying henceforth anyone who registers more than once would be taken to have engaged in examination malpractice and be treated as such.
He said the bloated figure of registrants distorts data and derail proper planning.
He added that results of 15,145 candidates were also being subjected to further clarification as identical twins and siblings, saying those who have facial identities in multiples were cross-checked further by ascertaining their fingerprints.
He, however, disclosed that the results of 1,792,719 candidates have been released out of a total of 1,826,839 that sat for the UTME. He urged candidates to use the phone numbers they used to register to text ‘RESULT to 55019 and would get their result in a text message.
He noted that a total of 1,886,508 candidates registered for the 2019 UTME including those who registered at the foreign centres but 59,667 were absent.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old candidate, Ekene Franklin from Imo State emerged the best-performed candidate in the 2019 UTME, scoring 347 and he applied to the University of Lagos, might not find placement at the University.
Oloyede revealed the candidate might be admitted at the University of his choice on account of age, saying the standing policy of the University of Lagos was against the admission of underage.
Franklin was followed by Emmanuel Chidiebube from Abia state, aged 16, he came second with 346 scores, while Isaac Olanilekon who applied to study at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) came third, scoring 345.
He disclosed that a total of 2,906 candidates scored 300 and above while 57,579 candidates scored between 250 and 299. He added that about 366,757 scored between 200 and 245.
Oloyede who alleges sabotage by some Computer Based Test (CBT) Centre owners, decried the high level of examination malpractices perpetrated by candidates in connivance with the CBT Centre owners.
He said the capacity of the syndicate and their modus operandi were beyond the board’s imagination, noting that some of the structures put in place were tested to their limits.
He said the board this year has deployed appropriate technologies to detect not only the facial duplication of candidates but also biometric multiplication.
He said the new form of fraud which was identified by the technology deployed for the 2019 UTME, was “contributed fingers”, an attempt to beat biometric verification introduced by the board.
He said there was a case in Borno State wherein Nassara Computer Academy Maiduguri, 233 candidates had one particular finger included in each of their biometric registration.
He noted that the foundation of examination malpractice is laid at the point of registration with the active connivance of some CBT centre owners who allowed themselves to be infiltrated by some owners of tutorial classes.
He said examination malpractice was exacerbated by the insatiable greed and desperate antics of parents who are hell-bent on inducting their innocent and not-so-innocent children into the world of sharp practices and corruption.
He said: “Another dimension of impersonation is a futile attempt of defeating the biometric capturing of ten fingers that was introduced in 2017.
“The fraudsters thought they could beat the system through ‘contributed fingers’ where two or more persons would use their fingers to register for candidates thinking that any of them would be able to write for such candidates if the system allowed it.
“Someone, for instance, registered as many as 23 times for just a single examination. Two examples of this case are in the Aminu Saleh College of Education, Azare, where someone’s finger(s) was discovered in 42 person’s registration and Bauchi State University, Gadau, where one person is traced to the registration of 64 candidates with a view to allowing any of the finger-contributing impersonators to access the examination hall.
“The Board went to the extent of interacting with the principal officers of the institution in Azare. We must appreciate the Council Chairman and Provost of the College whose cooperation led to the confession of the culprit that he contributed the fingers in good faith.
“The confession, as bad as it was, is good for the Board as without it, there would have been doubts in the accuracy of the technology deployed to determine and detect the infraction.
“Another example was in Borno State wherein Nassara Computer Academy Maiduguri 233 candidates had one particular finger included in each of their biometric registration,” Oloyede said.
He disclosed that a total of 116 CBT centres have been blacklisted, saying out of this number, 18 have been sanctioned by the Governing Board of JAMB with suspension for between one and three years for registration related misconduct.
He faulted reports in a section of the media that the board delay the release of the results because the system was hacked or that the server was crashed.
The Registrar recalled that he had announced during the release of the 2018 UTME result that the 2019 result would not be released immediately until it went through some scrutiny.
He said: “We released the 2017 and 2018 UTME results almost within 24 hours of each session to convince the doubting Thomases that the expeditious release of CBT results was not beyond our capacity.
“Yet, at the release of the 2018 results, we publicly announced that the results of 2019 UTME would not be released until we subject the procedure to some scrutiny with a view to ascertaining the degree of success of the structures, infrastructure, policies and processes put in place to checkmate the not very few among us who believe in the pervasively illegitimate means of achieving set ambitions and goals.
“Being a global menace, every serious country is confronting examination malpractice frontally in order to safeguard the integrity of the system,” he said.
He said the examination conducted between April 11 and 17, 2019 across the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja, was a painstaking exercise that was instructive and eye-opening in many ramifications despite the general success story recorded.