The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Department of State Services have arrested 48 individuals for alleged illegalities in the conduct of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board.
JUPEB is an advanced level educational examination that qualifies a candidate for admission into 200 level in any Nigerian and foreign university through direct entry.
It is coordinated by the University of Lagos and has up to 10 accredited universities.
The ICPC stated that a joint operation tagged ‘Operation Combo’ conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, led to the arrests of lecturers, security officers, workers and students from some of the participating universities in the exam.
Operation Combo was simultaneously carried out by the operatives of ICPC and DSS in seven states after extensive monitoring of tutorial schools known for notoriously compromising JUPEB examinations.
The sting operation consequently led to the arrest of the President of Tutorial School Owners, the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, disclosed in a statement on Wednesday, titled, ‘ICPC, DSS arrest 48 lecturers, security officers, ICT specialists over leakage of JUPEB examinations.’
According to the commission, the operation, a consequence of a sustained period of surveillance and undercover investigations spanning several weeks, led to multiple arrests of suspects, including parents of candidates.
Also arrested were lecturers and others involved in examination malpractices and other illegalities in the participating institutions.
Some of the suspects have been granted administrative bail while the investigation is ongoing.
The statement said, “The suspects were arrested from Wellspring University, Benin, Edo State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State and Crown-Hill University, Ilorin, Kwara State.
“Again, the raid of tutorial centres by operatives in McPherson and Precious Cornerstone universities in Ibadan and Ilara-Epe, in Oyo State, respectively, led to more arrest of suspects.”
The ICPC further stated that credible intelligence gathered during the operations showed active connivance of the parents of the students and the management of the universities.
It added, “Three current Vice-Chancellors have been invited by the ICPC for their roles in the unchecked and massive malpractices reported. It was revealed that syndicated social media platforms were created by the facilitators for leaking questions and circulating answers to students for a fee during examinations.
“Investigation also revealed that candidates, who are mostly minors, allegedly paid between N350,000 to N500,000 each to the suspects in the various tutorial schools to engage in the illegalities.”
The anti-graft agency revealed that the cartel, in connivance with the coordinators of the examination centres and other management staff of the institutions, allowed candidates to enter the examination halls with smartphones and other electronic devices to send question papers to waiting groups online and subsequently receive answers to the questions.