At least forty-eight persons have been arrested for participating in a syndicated examination fraud involving leaking examination papers to students.
The arrest was carried out by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The malpractice involves the conduct of JUPEB advanced level examinations which affords candidates the opportunity to seek admission into 200 level of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and outside the country through direct entry.
However, according to a statement signed by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Oguguato some people including lecturers, tutorial masters, and university authorities connived with some students to compromise the process.
She revealed that they were arrested in a burst joint operation tagged ‘Operation Combo’ which involved the ICPC, DSS, and the Ministry of Education.
According to the statement, the students involved in the malpractice pay between N350,000 and N500,000 to engage in the malpractices.
She said Operation Combo was executed simultaneously in seven states after extensive surveillance and undercover investigations of tutorial schools suspected to be involved in compromising JUPEB examinations.
Three current Vice-Chancellors have been invited by ICPC for their roles in the unchecked and massive malpractices reported while the President of Tutorial School Owners (ATSO) was also arrested in the operation.
According to the ICPC statement, the suspects were arrested from Wellspring University, Benin, Edo State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State and Crown-Hill University, Ilorin, Kwara State.
“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,” the statement reads in part.
The statement added, “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 arrests of suspects.
“Credible intelligence gathered during the operations showed active connivance of the parents of the students and the management of the universities.”
It added that “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 cartel, in connivance with the coordinators of the examination centres and other management staff of the institutions, deliberately allowed security lapses to enable the candidates go into examination halls with smart-phones and other electronic devices to send question papers to waiting groups online and subsequently, receive answers to questions thereby engaging in massive malpractices.
“Some of the suspects arrested have been granted administrative bail while investigation is on-going.”