The Evangelist News edition, Tuesday July 11, 2023. By Emeka Obasi
Until Ishaq Oloyede assumed office as Registrar in 2016, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) was in bazaar mode. His predecessor, Dibu Ojerinde, is still in court trying to explain how five billion naira failed him and four of his children.
While Ojerinde is facing allegations of stuffing his pockets with billions of naira, Oloyede has been stuffing the Federal treasury with returns. Indeed, there is so much money coming to and leaving JAMB. Where it goes depends on the discretion of the Registrar.
Ojerinde is a first class professor. The first Nigerian Professor of Tests and Measurements. When mention is made of trail blazing dons, we put Ojerinde alongside Oladele Adebayo Ajose, who earned recognition in 1948 as the first Nigerian Professor of Medicine.
Now, others who shared firsts with Ojerinde will not be happy that a professor is in court with members of his family. What will such distinguished teacher do with billions of naira accumulated dubiously ? And he had the honourable job of fishing out exam cheats while presiding over JAMB.
JAMB must be infested with reptiles. We may even convert the office to a mini zoo. We miss Prof. Sanya Onabamiro. The renowned Zoologist would have been able to explain similarities between the brain of a dinosaur and a thief.
In 2018, Philomena Chieshe confirmed that a zoo existed at JAMB while claiming that a snake swallowed 36 million naira being proceeds from sale of e – JAMB cards in Benue State. She was in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ).
Chieshe was not alone. The EFCC also arrested five other JAMB officials – Sam Umoru, Yakubu Jakada, Priscilla Ogunsola, Daniel Agbo and Aliyu Yakubu. How six persons watched a snake swallow cash should interest the Guinness World Book of Records.
JAMB is in the news again. Anambra is the home of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, a first class Economist. Mmesoma Ejike has been accused of being economical with the truth. While the school girl told the world that she scored 362 in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation exam, JAMB has come out against her.
Kamsiyochukwu Ume has JAMB’s nod as the candidate with highest score, at 360. JAMB insists that Mmesoma scored 249 but falsified her result using the 2021 result slip of one Mariam Omobolanle Asimiyu. I trust the Department of State Security to sort this out soon.
We must believe in the secret police. In 1993, the West African Examinations Council ( WAEC ) had to cancel five question papers for the Senior Secondary Three ( SS3 ) exams because they were in the open market before time.
The police arrested nine suspects with the leaked papers but investigations yielded nothing. The DSS waded in and made a headway. Revelations showed that the detainees got the papers through a vehicle mechanic. The mechanic led them to a cleaner at the WAEC office Yaba.
The cleaner confessed that while cleaning the press, he found the papers and quietly put them in the waste paper basket. From there, the mechanic was approached to go make sales out of the ‘liter’. One of the WAEC directors almost passed out when the truth emerged.
The Director had brought the cleaner from Ghana after serving him equitably as domestic staff. In trying to help out, the Oga nearly found himself in trouble for importing a criminal into the system. The DSS officer who handled the case is now living in retirement.
The same DSS can also tell us more about JAMB. Prof. Oloyede has done well for those who manage our resources in Abuja. He has sent more money than the Nigerian National Petroleum Company ( NNPC). A round of applause.
After Oloyede, JAMB should go. Let the respective universities manage admission of their students. This will reduce the monumental fraud witnessed since the Board left Hawksworth, Ikoyi. Pioneer Registrar, Michael Angulu, could not have seen this coming.
Before JAMB was established in 1978, many of us in the East were familiar with one particular name, Oradubanya. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka had as Registrar, Augustine Oradubanya.A letter from him was all candidates needed to know their fate. He took over from Chukwuemeka Ike in 1971.
For those who chose University of Ibadan, a letter from Nathaniel Adamolekun delivered the news. At the University of Lagos, Samuel Osinulu’s signature was powerful. I would not now remember the exact positions of Eloka Ogeah and Bisi Amagada at the University of Benin before 1978.
In those good old years when we had fewer universities, Nigeria produced some of the best. There was nothing like quota system or catchment area. The universities were accountable for whoever they admitted. And the environment was sweet.
Since JAMB came, admissions have improved backwards. Yahoo Yahoo is not just about Yahoo Boys. It also involves Yahoo Ministers, Yahoo Professors, Mugu parents and Maga candidates. Little wonder, some degree certificates are as good as tissue paper.
Mmesoma is being punished for forgery. If Justice Solomon Sogbetun were alive, he might do well investigating JAMB scores and NYSC certificates, like he did with WAEC in 1977. I think Forgery is a Nigerian. Honestly, I am beginning to believe that Lugard of Abinger forged the country Nigeria.
*****@Saturday Vanguard, evangelical.com.ng, tweeter @dEvangelistnews