The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has ordered Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) to admit a female candidate from Niger State, Thomas Goodness Shekwobyalo to study medicine instead of the Anatomy she was offered.
It also clarified that Shekwobyalo was not discriminated against by ABU on the basis of religion.
She can either accept or reject the offer.
JAMB Registrar Prof. Ishaq Oloyede gave the directive in Bwari, Abuja, at a review meeting with the representative of the Commissioner for Education in Niger State, Bellu Attahiru, ABU’s Admission Officer Haruna Ali Mohammed, representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and officials of the agency.
Although the girl and her parents were invited, they did not show up after reassurance that they will come.
Miss Shekwobyalo had alleged that she was denied admission for medicine because she is a Christian.
She also claimed that she scored 302 to come tops in Niger State but religious factor was used against him.
At the review session where all the facts were laid on the table, it was discovered that the girl committed a blunder by changing her course preference from Medicine to Anatomy.
She allegedly changed her course to Anatomy following a call/advisory she received from ABU.
Miss Shekwobyalo could not, however, present any evidence to JAMB or identify who advised her to change the course.
It was also realised that by average score, she was not the best from the state despite her 302 score in Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The breakdown of the three best candidates from Niger is as follows: Isah Mujahid (UTME, 296; Post-UTME, 303; and Average Score, 299); Hassan Ruqayyat Ndaisa (UTME, 275; Post-UTME, 309; and Average Score, 292) and Thomas Goodness Shekwobyalo (UTME, 302; Post-UTME, 274; and Average Score, 288).
But JAMB discovered that ABU decided to peg its merit list at two candidates per state leaving out Shekwobyalo from those shortlisted for medicine.
Notwithstanding, the JAMB Registrar, Oloyede said it was wrong for ABU to limit its Merit List to two per state.
The JAMB boss said: “Contrary to insinuations, this meeting has shown that Shekwobyalo was not discriminated against on religious or ethnic basis.
“The evidence before us is that the candidate changed her course from Medicine to Anatomy.
“We can see that clearly in the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS). She did that on her own and she was therefore not in consideration for medicine at all.
“If she had not changed her course, she would have been number 36 (of 80) on the merit list of ABU for medicine.
“After she changed, she became number one in Anatomy and she was offered admission for that course. When we asked her why she changed, she said someone in ABU called her on phone to change her course. We asked her for evidence, there was none. ABU said they never advised her to do so.
“We discovered that ABU did something wrong. They were distributing merit on state basis. They decided to offer Medicine to two candidates per state.
“One of the achievements of this meeting is how to legitimize her admission into Medicine( MBBS).
“We have decided to reverse her Anatomy admission. ABU should put her on notice that she has been offered to read Medicine. It is left to her to accept or reject.
“JAMB exists to ensure fairness and justice to all. I have addressed many similar cases in about seven universities without sensationalism on the basis of religion or tribalism.”
Oloyede also said JAMB was prepared to offer her a fresh window to change to any university if she is uncomfortable with ABU.
He, however, added a caveat that all normal processes must be followed.
Oloyede said: “If they want her to be in another University, we can facilitate her movement “Having created that kind of controversy and sensation, she may no longer be comfortable studying in ABU.
“But for her to change university, the right processes must be followed. No Nigerian university can admit her without the right processes because she already has an admission in ABU.”
The Director of Schools and Educational Services, Mr. Bellu Attahiru, who represented the Commissioner for Education, said: “All the doubts I had have been cleared. They just wanted to sensationalize the issue. If her (the candidate) and her parents were here, they would have been shown the evidence of what happened.
“It is obvious she was not discriminated along based on religion. I will let the Niger State Government know the facts as laid down today. We thank JAMB for reversing her admission from Anatomy to Medicine.
ABU’s Admission Officer Haruna Ali immediately effected Shekwobyalo’s course to Medicine
SOURCE:- THE NATION