The results of about 50,000 candidates who took part in the mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have been released on Tuesday evening.
Disclosing this in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the head of Media and Public Relations unit of the examination body, Fabian Benjamin, said all the candidates could check their results from Tuesday (yesterday).
Out of a total of 157,631 candidates scheduled to take part in the mock test, which was aimed at preparing candidates ahead of the main examination, only about 50,000 showed up.
The low turnout PREMIUM TIMES learnt might not be unconnected with the frequent change of the date of the mock test and the ongoing terminal examinations in many secondary schools across the country.
Many of the candidates who registered for the examination are secondary school students in their final classes, but the change in dates of the examination may have clashed with their school examinations.
Many centres visited by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday to observe the election revealed that in some cases less than half of the expected candidates sat for the examination.
Meanwhile, the examination body has explained reasons behind the decision to reschedule the printing of the examination slips by candidates who have registered for the 2019 UTME examination scheduled to commence on April 11.
JAMB had earlier announced that its candidates should begin to print their examination slips starting from April 2 but later shifted the date to April 4.
Mr Benjamin said the shift became necessary following the suspension of 14 Computer-Based Tests centres on Monday due to infractions committed during the mock UTME.
An alleged attack of two JAMB workers by yet-to-be-identified hoodlums in Lagos is also one of the reasons advanced by the examination body.
He said; “All these developments have created distortions to our arrangements and there is need to quickly relocate candidates earlier allocated to the affected centres.
“This decision was taken after a meeting of the management after the mock test and based on the report, it was concluded that those centres be suspended so that the main examination is not compromised. It, therefore, became necessary to adjust appropriately.”
Mr Benjamin appealed to affected candidates to bear with the board. He advised them to print their slips beginning from Thursday and that they should not wait till the last minute.
Police speak on alleged attack on JAMB staffers
Meanwhile, speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on telephone on Tuesday evening, the Division Police Officer for the Sagamu-Ikorodu Road Division, Adekunle Omisakin, said a male and a female had approached his station on Saturday to report the alleged attack on them by unidentified members of the striking non-academic staffers of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu.
According to Mr Omisakin, the accusers complained that their attackers attempted to set them ablaze and that their clothes smelling of fuel were presented as exhibit.
He, however, said he was not sure whether they were beaten and that they walked to the station themselves unaided.
He said; “We are still investigating the matter and I don’t want to jump into conclusion. But the truth is that a man and a woman lodged complaint and based on their statements we are trying to investigate the matter and get to its roots.”
But the Chairman of NASU on the campus said he is still confused on the authenticity of the claim, saying his union would be glad to get additional details of when the attack happened, how it happened and those involved in the attacks.
He said; “This is very strange but we are still awaiting further details. We have never been violent in our approach and no one can claim that we have attacked them. So whoever is behind this should come to the open.”
The JAMB registrar, Isiaq Oloyede, while briefing journalists on the situation about the conduct of mock test in Abuja on Monday, had revealed the attack on two of his officials, saying efforts were on to investigate what really transpired.
He reportedly said; “The very first sad thing that we noticed was that two of our staff were almost murdered in Lagos. There was an attempt on their lives at the Lagos State Polytechnic. For whatever reason, they were wet with petrol and they were to be set ablaze.
“We have sent a rescue team and they took them to the hospital. We are still looking into what happened, but we have evacuated our staff from the place.”
JAMB engages SAN over matter
But JAMB is not taking the matter lightly as it has reportedly engaged the service of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to prosecute the alleged attackers on its men.
A source at the examination body, who craved anonymity, explained that the registrar was enraged by the fact that the staffers were wet with petrol by their attackers and that he has vowed to ensure prosecution of whoever is found guilty of the act.
“I can confirm to you that our legal unit has engaged a popular SAN to prosecute the matter because as I speak to you the affected staffers are still in the hospital. It is that bad,” the source said.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the attacked staffers might have been barred by protesting workers from gaining entrance to the campus on Saturday and that the altercations between them and the striking workers may have degenerated into a brawl.