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Alleged illegal admission: FG to sanction UNIABUJA VC, others

 


The vice-chancellor of the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA),

Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, is among heads of Nigeria’s tertiary

institutions which the Nigerian government has vowed to

punish for engaging in what it described as illegal admission

exercises.

The education minister, Adamu Adamu, who issued the threat

on Tuesday in Abuja at the 2021 admission policy meeting

organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board

(JAMB) , accused the concerned institutions of flouting the

government’s directive.

This was as the minister also formally announced the

commencement of the admission processes for the

2021/2022 academic session, even as guidelines for the

process were released including the free will offered the

individual institutions to set cut-off marks as approved by the

policy meeting.

Mr Adamu, who was represented by the permanent secretary

in the ministry, Sonny Echono, said appropriate sanctions

would be meted against defaulting heads of agencies.

Mr Echono, who chaired the meeting on behalf of the minister,

noted that the actions of the institutions usually alter the

country’s statistics of admitted candidates and those not

admitted annually.

He said; “It is in furtherance of the goal of safeguarding the

integrity of the admission process that all institutions were told

that admission made outside the Central Admissions

Processing System (CAPS) is unacceptable to the system.

“It is saddening that despite the clear directives at previous

policy meetings some institutions still illegally admitted

candidates outside CAPS. I consider such an act as a direct

affront on the system and appropriate sanctions shall be

applied on those found to have been involved in such a

disruptive act. Similarly, any institution that issued admission

letters to candidates outside CAPS will be punished for such

gross indiscipline and fraud.

For instance, the minister said a total of 255,928 illegal

admissions were conducted by various institutions in 2015 for

the 2014 academic calendar while the figure stood at 190,407

in 2016 for the 2015 academic calendar.

However, the minister said there was a sharp decline in the

figure in 2017 when it recorded only 43,852 illegal admission

figure for the 2016 academic calendar.

UNIABUJA in focus

Earlier, during his presentation at the meeting, the JAMB

registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, displayed proofs of infractions

allegedly committed by institutions and particularly the

University of Abuja.

Mr Oloyede said a candidate already admitted to study

medicine by Baze University, Abuja, was surreptitiously offered

admission by UNIABUJA to study the same MBBS programme

without going through the CAPS.

The admission body also gave an evidence of a candidate

who opted to study law at the university but was offered

Political Science and that an admission letter was issued to

the candidate without recourse to JAMB.

The registrar gave in evidence that; “Omosanya Faozeeyat

Odunayo applied to University of Abuja to study Law with a

score of 251. By 30th March, 2021 she had been issued ‘Letter

of Admission’ by the University for Political Science

“As of Monday, 30th August, 2021 (5 months after), she is yet

to be proposed on CAPS by the university.”

Earlier in April, JAMB had accused the management of the

university and other unnamed institutions of illegally

admitting students during the 2020/2021 admission processes.

JAMB, in a statement signed by its head of Public Affairs and

Protocol unit, Fabian Benjamin, declared the admissions

conducted by the university as null and void.

The examination body reiterated that it remains the only body

statutorily empowered to issue admission letters to successful

candidates of universities, polytechnics, colleges of education

and monotechnics in Nigeria.

Varsity denies allegation

The university’s spokesman, Habib Yakoob, denies any

wrongdoing, saying the university has always adhered to

admission rules “to a large extent.”

He acknowledged that the conflict between the examination

body has been on for some time but that as much as he knows

the university has not erred.

He said; “I don’t know… You know what, if you have been

covering this beat for quite some time, particularly in the last

couple of years, you would have noticed this back and forth

between the university and JAMB, and our position has always

been clear. So I am surprised this is coming up again.

“As far the university is concerned we adhere strictly to the

rule, to a large extent, set by JAMB. So I do not think we

violate this policy on CAPS. That is the much I can say for

now.”

When confronted with the fact of an example given by the

JAMB registrar, Mr Yakoob said he didn’t have the details of

such a candidate.


   


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