Eight suspects, allegedly notorious for running illegal Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB) registration centres in various parts of Lagos, and selling JAMB forms above the stipulated official price of N4,700, have been arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos State Command.
The suspects – Bamiro Oluwaseun, Subairu Ilyas Adewale, Oshikoya Segun, Victor Faith, Olayinka Oluwashina, Elvis Okorafor, Igwoku Luckson, and Ajetumobi Olufemi – were arrested following a tip off.
According to the NSCDC Commandant, Lagos State Command, Mr. Cyprian Otoibhi, who paraded the suspects before journalists, at the command headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja, the suspects charged candidates between N6,500 and N8000, or sometimes even higher.
Otoibhi said the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects, was carried out in conjunction with officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board in Lagos State.
Speaking during the parade of the suspects on Monday, the commandant said: “ The Commandant-General of NSCDC, Alhaji Gana Mohammadu, gave a directive to all state commands, to put a stop to what he described as the extortion of JAMB candidates by CBT operators.
It could be recalled that the federal government had slashed the cost of JAMB registration to ease the burden on parents and candidates, but it was discovered that some CBT centres operators were seeking above the government stipulated price of N4,700, hence, their arrest.”
Giving details on how the suspects were arrested, he said: “ On Monday, January 20, 2020, men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in a joint operation with officials of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board in Lagos State, acting on credible intelligence, arrested eight men for selling jamb forms above the official price.
“ The suspects run cyber cafes in different areas in Lagos. They charge unsuspecting candidates ranging from N6,500 and N8,000 instead of the official rate of N4,700.
These candidates are tricked and manipulated into paying higher than normal and this can be seen as a case of extortion.
“ So an officer acted as an undercover disguised to be an applicant, stated that the suspects extorted from innocent young Nigerians who are seeking to have a bright education through. ”
While stating that the command will no longer tolerate criminal activities in this regard, the commandant, advised prospective defaulters to stay clear, saying, “ Those cyber cafes that perpetrate such wicked act should stay clear from crime, stop the extortion of prospective candidates, or stand a chance of loosing their licence, and also be prepared to go to jail. ”
A prime suspect in the fraudulent act, Ajetumobi Olufemi, denied the allegation saying he only charged the prospective candidates the extra amount for tutorial and other logistics.
The 28-year-old Olufemi said: “ I am an education consultant. I am a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Osun State. I studied Zoology. The name of my tutorial centre is Achievers Educare, located at Agboju.
I have been in this business for over four years, and currently, I have over 100 JAMB candidates at my tutorial centre.
I do not charge them above the normal fee for registration and I don’t even do the registration but direct them to a CBT centre near my tutorial centre, where they pay the actual amount of N4,700. The extra they pay which is about N3,330, is for logistics, advice and the template to fill the form.
“ I was surprised when I was called that my secretary had been arrested. When I got to my office, I discovered the NSCDC officials had turned my office upside down.
They said they found JAMB pin with my secretary, who is only 17-years-old, and that was enough to implicate me. I think someone must have told them about what I charge without breaking it down that the payment of N8,000 is not for the JAMB form, ” he said.
A female suspect, Victor Faith, who was also paraded, said she only runs a cyber cafe at Iyana -Iba. “ A young lady approached me that she wanted to register for JAMB, and I directed her to a CBT centre close to me.
She went there, came back and said she had the pin and I should help her with the registration, which I charged N700 and asked her to pay N300 for CBT training, which of course was optional. I did not collect any money for JAMB registration, ” she maintained.