The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have detained 48 people for alleged violations of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board’s procedures (JUPEB).
According to an ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, the joint operation dubbed “Operation Combo,” which was carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Education, resulted in the detention of lecturers, security personnel, workers, and students from several of the exam’s participating universities.
Ogugua stated that Operation Combo was conducted out concurrently by ICPC and DSS agents in seven states following thorough monitoring of tutorial schools reportedly renowned for habitually manipulating JUPEB examinations. As a result, the President of Tutorial School Owners was arrested (ATSO).
The operation, the result of several weeks of surveillance and undercover investigations, resulted in multiple arrests of suspects, including parents of exam participants.
Lecturers and others involved in examination misconduct and other illegalities at the participating colleges were also arrested.
Wellspring University in Benin, Edo State, Christopher University in Mowe, Ogun State, and Crown-Hill University in Ilorin, Kwara State were among those apprehended.
In addition, operatives raided tutorial centers at McPherson and Precious Cornerstone universities in Ibadan and Ilara-Epe, Oyo State, resulting in the arrest of more individuals.
Ogugua stated that credible intelligence acquired during the operations revealed active collusion between the students’ parents and university administration.
The ICPC has invited three present Vice-Chancellors for their roles in the undetected and significant malpractices that have been documented.
It was revealed that the facilitators developed syndicated social media sites for leaking questions and distributing answers to students for a fee during examinations.
“The investigations 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 statement added.
According to the ICPC, the cartel, in collaboration with the coordinators of the examination centers and other management staff of the institutions, purposefully allowed security lapses to allow candidates to enter examination halls with smartphones and other electronic devices to send question papers to waiting groups online and then receive answers to questions, thereby engaging in cheating.
While the investigation is underway, several of the persons apprehended have been given administrative bail.
JUPEB is an advanced level educational test that qualifies its candidates for direct entry into any Nigerian and foreign university at the 200 level. It is led by the University of Lagos and includes up to ten authorized universities.