The Senate initiated an investigation into allegations of admission fraud within universities nationwide after Senator Onyeka Nwebonyi (Ebonyi North) presented a motion during Wednesday’s plenary.
The Red Chamber also instructed the committees to summon the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, and the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Ishaq Oloyede. Nwebonyi, in his motion, claimed that university staff members colluded with JAMB officials to engage in unethical practices for financial gain.
He alleged that authorities of tertiary institutions, along with certain JAMB officials, had returned to the practice of offering provisional admissions in highly sought-after professional courses such as medicine, surgery, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing science, in exchange for bribes, thereby compromising the admission process for some students.
He said, “I note the travails of one Miss Chinyere Ekwe and 290 others who were admitted to study medicine and surgery at the University of Nigeria Nsukka but had their admissions truncated on the order of JAMB for no plausible reason after they had completed the admission processes and resumed lectures.
“Miss Ekwe, in particular, scored 291 in the 2019 UTME and 300 in the university’s post-UTME, which qualified her for the course and was subsequently admitted by the university.
“The said Chinyere Ekwe was transferred to the Department of Medical Laboratory Science on the grounds that if her Cumulative Grade Point was up to 4.5 points after the first year, she would be transferred back to medicine and surgery.
“However, although she surpassed the 4.5 threshold, her admission status is still not yet certain, whether she is duly admitted to the Department of Medicine and Surgery or Medical Laboratory Science.
“The provisional admission practice is being used as a malicious tool to exploit and frustrate intelligent young Nigerians who are children and wards of ordinary people who seek admission into Nigerian universities.”
In his comments, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, emphasized the importance of providing a fair opportunity for the accused parties, highlighting that both JAMB and UNN have a well-established reputation as reputable institutions.
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