The Senate’s decision to look into claims of admissions racketeering in colleges is welcomed, according to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
The Senate began looking into claims of admission racketeering in various colleges around the nation last week.
Onyeka Nwebonyi, the senator from Ebonyi North, made a proposal at Wednesday’s plenary session.
Citing the difficulties with admission that one Chinyere Ekwe had at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nwebonyi accused university employees of working with JAMB authorities to engage in unethical behaviour.
The motion prompted Senate President Godswill Akpabio to call for a fair hearing.
Reacting to the development in a statement on Sunday, Ishaq Oloyede, the registrar of JAMB, commended the senate for allowing the examination body to defend itself over the issue.
“Something happened in the senate when a motion was moved to take certain steps about what was alleged to be connivance between JAMB and some institutions on admission racketeering,” Oloyede said.
“But anything that appears negative also has a positive in it. The senate president said JAMB must be heard because JAMB has integrity.
“I want all of us to appreciate the senate president in particular and the entire senate for the wise counsel.”
Reacting to the incident at UNN, Oloyede said the affected candidate sat for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), where she scored 291.
According to the JAMB registrar, the candidate applied to study medicine and surgery at UNN.
He added that she was in the 241st position in the ranking of applicants for the medical programme at the university after all her other academic performances, including her post-UTME score, were calculated by the institution.
“This lady did not apply to change her course, but the university decided she changes to Medical Laboratory, and a proposal was made to her and she accepted the Medical Laboratory in writing,” he added.
“The institution then recommended her for admission into the Medical Laboratory, and we knew that she could not have been taken for Medicine because that year the university admitted more than the approved number.”
He said it was discovered that many other applicants who were admitted illegally scored above her.
“Up till today, the lady has no approval letter from JAMB, neither for Medicine nor Medical Laboratory. And if she is doing Medical Laboratory, she is doing it in an arrangement between her and the institution,” Oloyede said.
According to Oloyede, the university should have adhered to all admissions protocols, beginning with making sure the applicants met their allotted quota and ranking order—both of which were disregarded in this instance.
“The truth of the matter is that if she has a letter of provisional admission. It is not from JAMB,” Oloyede added.
“So we welcome the wise counsel of the senate president that the matter be investigated. We will cooperate with the senate.”