JAMB candidate nabbed with gun at exam centre

• Blame CBT centres for your woes –Registrar

By Chika Abanobi and Linus Oota, Lafia

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have arrested 21-year-old Abubakar Liman, candidate for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) at Nasarawa State Polytechnic centre, for being in possession of a gun, during the examination.
A locally-made pistol and two rounds of live ammunition were found on Liman.
He reportedly told the NSCDC officers that someone gave him the gun for “safekeeping.”
NSCDC State Commandant, Alhaji Bashir Lawal Kano, confirmed to newsmen in Lafia, yesterday, that the suspect was arrested at the polytechnic centre, during a search at the entrance to the examination hall.
He added that Liman will be charged to court for illegal possession of firearms and noted that “even registered guns were not allowed at examination centres.”
Kano equally stated that the command had arrested one Muhammed Alakayi, from Doma Local Government area of the state, for illegally posing as a recruitment agent for the NSCDC.
Meanwhile, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has distanced the agency from hitches experienced by 1.7 million candidates.
There have been complaints of poor internet services at most Computer Based Test (CBT) centres causing delays or disruptions and alleged muddling up of subject combinations since the examination started.
There have, also, been complaints about poor power supply leading to computer shutdowns, inability of the biometrics system to identify or authenticate candidates fingerprints, among others.
At an informal meeting with newsmen, yesterday, Oloyede, who was at one of the CBT centres in Ilupeju, Lagos, to monitor the UTME, blamed most of the woes being faced by candidates on owners/operators of the CBT centres.
He said they had promised JAMB hitch-free examination and expressed disappointment at their performance. Oloyede promised to review CBTs next year.
“I have gone round some of these centres. There will surely be a review after this exam. In Lagos, for instance, we have 65 private-owned CBT centres being used for this exam. But, I am not sure up to 30 of them will remain in partnership with us after this year,” he said.
The JAMB registrar blamed owners of the CBT centres,  not only for poor technical services, but, also, for exploiting candidates by overcharging them on registration.
“I am aware of centres where candidates paid up to N15, 000 before they could be registered. It is even the only seemly sympathetic ones among them that are charging N8,500.”
He expressed disappointment “with the stress they put the candidates through after collecting so much from them” and talked about “muddling up candidates names and subject combinations, sometimes intentionally,” he said, “in order to extort more money from them.”
Oloyede also put part of the blame on the candidates themselves and their parents who chose to patronize some of the centres he said are ill-equipped to handle JAMB registration.
“I cannot help you if you cannot help yourself,” Oloyede told a parent and mother of one of the candidates, Hillary Ashikodi, who sent wrong subject combinations in the examination.
Hillary chose Law and Mass Communication, as his first and second choices respectively but registered English, Literature, Government and Christian Religious Knowledge as JAMB subjects. He got English, Government, Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) and Christian Religious Knowledge in UTME.

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