A 15-year-old boy, Ekele Franklin, from Imo has emerged the overall best candidate in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME), conducted between April 11 and April 15.
Franklin, who made University of Lagos his first choice, scored 347 and may not be admitted because of his age.
Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), disclosed this at a news conference to announce the release of the results in Abuja on Saturday.
Emmanuel Chidebube, a 16-year-old boy from Abia came second with a score of 346, while Isaac Olamide, a 17-year-old from Osun came third with 345.
In all 2,906 candidates scored over 300 as against 4,683 in 2018.
According to Mr Oloyede, 57,579 candidates scored between 250 and 299 as against 64,120 in the 2018 results.
Mr Oloyede said 366,757 candidates also scored between 200 and 249, which is a significant improvement from the 2018 results.
“361,718 candidates scored between 180 and 199 as against 325,152 in 2018, while 494,484 scored between 160 and 179 as against 455,898 last year.
“410,844 candidates scored between 140 and 159 as against 346,825 recorded in 2018 while also 99,463 scored between 100 and 139 as against 64,712 in 2018.”
The registrar said that about 1,792,719 candidates sat for the exams, while 34,120 candidates had their results withheld for examination malpractice.
Mr Oloyede stated that 15,145 results were withheld for further clarification.
The registrar, therefore, advised candidates to use the phone number used for registration and text it to 55019 to get their results instantly.
Mr Oloyede identified a lot of infractions from candidates and Computer Based Centres (CBT) owners ranging from multiple registration, manipulation of biometrics and deliberate destruction of power sources during the examination.
“No doubt, examination malpractice is a cankerworm that has eaten deeply not only into Nigeria but also the rest of the world, especially the developed countries such as the USA and U.K.
“In Nigeria too, examination malpractice is exacerbated by the insatiable greed and desperate antics of parents, who are hell-bent on inducting their innocent and not-so-innocent children into the world of sharp practices and corruption.
“Double registrations led to the cancellation of some results last year, but we realised that this year not only double registrations but also multiple registrations were recorded.
“Someone for instance registered as many as 23 times for just a single examination.
“On impersonation, in the 2019 UTME, we were able to identify a large number of impersonators, who have been writing UTME for candidates.
“Most of the tutorial masters specialise in recruiting such professional writers for the candidates.
“They do so by using the names directly or variants of the names or by multiple registrations.
“An example is Anambra state where two centres registered a large number of impersonating candidates. In such cases, the results of the candidates have been cancelled and the CBT centres delisted.
“We have also tracked the registration centres and the computers used. In cases where we were able to ascertain the culpability of the centres, we delisted them,” he said.
According to the registrar, the fraudsters thought they could beat the system through ‘contributed fingers’ where two or more persons would use their fingers to register for candidates.
“Two examples of this case are in the Aminu Saleh College of Education, Azare, where someone’s finger(s) was discovered in 42 person’s registration and Bauchi State University, Gadau, where one person’s is traced to the registration of 64 candidates.
“Another example was in Borno State where in Nassara Computer Academy, Maiduguri, 233 candidates had one particular finger included in each of their biometric registration.
“We have made representative arrests and we must thank the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant-General of the NSCDC for their wonderful cooperation.
“The I-G actually set up a Special Task Force of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), which assisted tremendously in tracking the offenders”.
Mr Oloyede, however, noted that 116 centres had been delisted for various infractions, saying that 18 of the 116 centres was previously sanctions by the governing board of JAMB.
He, therefore, assured universities of the board’s commitment in sending biometrics and photo details of candidates to the universities for post UTME.