Truth & justice

Don’t set Nigerians against us, JAMB urges media

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has pleaded with the media to be careful in reporting an alleged N7.3 billion contract scam that happened in the board over a decade ago.

In a statement on Monday titled, “Re: Ex-JAMB Registrar awarded N7.3bn contract without due process”, the board said the media should not report the alleged scam as if it was a new crime.

It said doing such with the current mood in the country, following the EndSARS protests, could pitch the people against the board.

The statement which was issued by its Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin reads:

“The attention of the Board has been drawn to a sensational report in some sections of the media on an issue that transpired over a decade ago as if it had just happened.

“We are surprised that the media is resuscitating a matter that happened years back at a time that everybody is conscious of further inciting the restive masses.

“At the moment, such sensational news, if it should feature at this point in time at all, should, of necessity, be appropriately spiced with ample explanations and headers, to the effect that such issues had happened in the past and adequate measures had also been taken since then to prevent a recurrence.

“The mood of the nation should guide us all in whatever we do as doing contrary would only compound the already fragile security situation in the polity.

“The media, as a critical stakeholder in the nation’s quest for peace and harmony, should always be alive to its responsibilities so as not to be seen as unnecessarily aggravating a tense political atmosphere.

“The Board does not dispute the cardinal role of the media in the war against graft but is only affirming that in some situations, it must tarry in featuring certain things no matter the urgency.

“The Board would continue to respect the media not only as the Fourth Estate of the Realm but also as the watchdog of our nascent democracy. However, the Board is of the view that the timing of this report is not appropriate.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that peace is returned to our cities, as such, let us do everything possible to de-escalate the situation by shunning the urge for sensationalism.”

The JAMB made the statement following media reports alleging that the Senate indicted the board over the alleged N7.3 billion contract scam that took place in JAMB between 2012 and 2013.

The matter came up following a report of the Auditor General of the Federation currently before the Senate Public Account Committee.

The Auditor General’s report is said to have made mention of the alleged N7.3 billion contract scam

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