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Aggrieved UTME candidates storm Lagos Assembly 

 … Accuse JAMB of poor marking, demand Registrar’s sack

• Lodge your complaints formally –Exam body

By Sam Otti and Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin

Hundreds of aggrieved candidates who sat for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) yesterday, stood under the sun for hours at the Lagos State House of Assembly in protest against marks awarded by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The students alleged the examination body awarded them fictitious marks. Consequently, they demanded the immediate sack of JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde.

The protesters, comprising candidates from Ogun and Lagos States, arrived the assembly complex at noon in a convoy of commercial buses and displayed placards, which derided the conduct of the examination. They said the computer-based test adopted in the examination was fraught with technical hitches and described it as a monumental fraud.

One of the protesters, Taiwo Adetola, said the 176 marks awarded to her when she checked her result online was not her real result. She accused the examination body of manipulating the process to frustrate students seeking admission into various public universities.

Another candidate, who gave his name as Olamide Adele said the examination body awarded him 159 when he first checked his result, but when he rechecked four days later, he was surprised to discover that the mark had been inflated to 199.

Other candidates corroborated Olamide’s claim. They alleged JAMB added 40 marks to the scores of some candidates, but reversed itself a week later by deducting 100 marks.

Olamide, who applied to the University of Lagos, recounted how he wrote UTME three times and noted that he got 225 marks in 2015.

Miss Adenike Oloyede, who complained that her computer system logged her out three times during the examination said she lost valuable time during each interruption, as the invigilator urged her to restart the computer.

Another candidate, Temitope Ayeni, said she got a score of 246 after the examination, but was shocked to find “no result, absent from examination” when she wanted to print out the result for confirmation.

Majority leader, Sanai Agunbiade, who addressed the protesters, assured them they were in the right place and had the right to lodge their complaints to their representatives.

He said their requests would be looked into, and that the case would be taken to the appropriate quarters.

In far away Ilorin, Kwara State, members of Association of Tutorial School Owners (ATSO), together with scores of JAMB candidates in the state staged a peaceful protest to condemn the conduct of this year’s UTME examinations.

The protesters, who marched round streets of Ilorin, the state capital yesterday, carried placards with messages against the examination body and called for urgent government intervention.

The people asked the examination body to allow lower admission cut-off marks for this year’s admission to tertiary institutions.

In its response, JAMB urged candidates to be calm over hitches recorded in their centres.

The board said all Computer Based Test (CBT) platforms would be improved upon with time. There had been allegations of system shutting down at CBT centres and candidates not getting better results.

JAMB’s Head of Media, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, urged candidates to lodge their complaints at the public complaints unit (PCU) made available by the board nationwide.

The board expressed doubts about some of the issues raised by the candidates.

JAMB accused operators of some of the CBT centres of sponsoring the candidates to protest against the board.

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