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COVID-19: Prosecution Of 195 UTME Candidates On Hold

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has written the police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to release some 195 candidates found to have engaged in malpractices during the last Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination.

Head of Media and Information, JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said exam body was suspending the prosecution of the 195 candidates in view of  governments’ stay-at-home directive, as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Benjamin, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, stressed none of the arrested 195 candidates had been tried and convicted.

He said, “No court is operating presently, as you are aware. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, we had not really had any convictions. Some of themwere not even arraigned yet. They were in police detention. We had to write to the police and the NSCDC to grant them liberal bail because of the COVID-19. Trial will commence after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

JAMB had on March 30 handed over the suspects to the police for prosecution.

According to JAMB, majority of the suspects are from Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna states.

The offences listed against the candidates included examination by proxy, attempt to cheat, forceful entrance, tampering with examination documents, smuggling of mobile phones into the examination halls, among others.

Meanwhile, JAMB has enjoined successful candidates who have been offered admission in the 2019/2020 admission year to accept the offer on the Central Admission Processing System portal, so as to not to forfeit such admission offers.

JAMB, in its weekly bulletin obtained on Monday, said, “There is a large number of candidates who have been offered provisional admission but are yet to accept the admission. A list containing their names is also on display on the board’s website and such candidates are to immediately accept such offers by using the CAPS.

“Candidates should note that failure to accept such offers of admission on the CAPS platform would result in forfeiture of such admissions.”

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