The motion sponsor posited that provisional admission racketeering practice is being used as a malicious tool to exploit and frustrate intelligent young Nigerians seeking admission into Nigerian universities.
The Senate has directed its Committees on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions to investigate the allegations of admission racketeering and admission fraud in universities across the country.
This is even as it summoned the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, the Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, and the Vice-Chancellor, the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Charles Igwe, over the allegations.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion on the “Urgent need to curtail the practice of undisclosed admission and other unwholesome practices by JAMB and Universities, particularly the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.”
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Onyeka Nwebonyi (APC, Ebonyi North) alleged that staff of tertiary institutions collude with the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) officials to carry out unwholesome practices for financial gains.
Nwebonyi also alleged that higher education administrators, in collaboration with some JAMB officials, have gone back to offering provisional admissions for highly prized professional courses like medicine and surgery, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing science, adding that this is done to shortchange some students who have already been offered admission in exchange for satisfaction.
He said: “The travails of one Miss Chinyere Ekwe and 290 others who were admitted to study Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) 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 ground that if her cumulative grade point is up to 4.5 points after the first year, she would be transferred back to Medicine and Surgery.
“However, even though she surpassed the 4.5 threshold, her admission status is still not yet certain as to 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.”
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio who presided over the plenary, emphasised the importance of providing the accused parties with a fair trial, citing the reputation of UNN and JAMB as respectable organisations.
“We are shaving the head of a man behind his back. The University of Nigeria has a reputation that spans decades and is respected internationally, and JAMB has its own reputation.
“So discussing and particularising it could tend to give the international community that something is questionable about the certificate from the University of Nigeria which we all respect. It has given birth to so many universities including the one I went to which is the University of Calabar.
“Let the other side be heard, so that we can do a holistic job and even invite the Minister of Education to find out whether this kind of practice is occurring in the tertiary institutions. So let us do a holistic job. I think it is important we correct any wrong that we see,” Akpabio submitted.