UTME: JAMB sanctions officials over Hijab-wearing candidate


JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede

Some officials of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have been sanctioned asking a candidate wearing hijab to remove her head cover during the accreditation process before being allowed into the examination hall at Bafuto Institute, Ile-Iwe Bus Stop, Ejigbo, Lagos.

The spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, revealed this in a statement on Sunday.

He said the officials were punished to serve as a deterrent to others who might wish to toe the same as the Board, as a national institution, has no policy barring candidates from sporting the religious paraphernalia peculiar to their religious persuasions as these are the facts of everyday life in Nigeria, which everyone should have been familiar with by now.

“Furthermore, the Board assures the general public that this issue would be properly investigated, as it had done in past incidents, to prevent a recurrence and nothing would be swept under the carpet,” he said.

While expressing the Board’s deep regrets over the incident, Benjamin stated that upon investigation, it discovered that the incident or others in the past, was not linked to any of its examination guidelines but rather a product of the misplaced priority of some of its accredited partners or officials who claimed ignorance of its guidelines on accreditation.

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According to him, JAMB’s guidelines on accreditation ensures that all candidates are screened, allowing only female officials to screen female candidates before allowing them to gain entrance into the hall.

The JAMB spokesperson also noted that the situation was promptly addressed by one of its senior officials at the centre and the candidate in question allowed in after the usual checks with her hijab.

“However, since ignorance of the law is not an excuse, the officials have been appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others, who might wish to toe the same line going forward,” he said.

JAMB added that it is committed to the discharge of its statutory role of ensuring that suitably-qualified candidates are selected for admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions and would not allow anything or anyone to detract it from the pursuit of this noble goal”.

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