Nigeria: Alleged N7.3bn Contract Fraud - Don't Set the Masses Against Us, JAMB Begs Media

26 October 2020

Abuja — The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has appealed to the media not to report the alleged N7.3 billion contract scam involving it at this time, saying such action could pitch the masses against it considering the current situation in the country.

It flayed some media reports on the issue, which arose from the report of the Auditor General of the Federation, currently being considered by the Senate Public Account Committee.

Some media reports had claimed that the Senate indicted JAMB in the said contract which was allegedly awarded between 2012 and 2013 allegedly without recourse to due process.

Reacting Monday, in a statement, tagged: "Re: Ex-JAMB Registrar Awarded N7.3bn Contract without Due Process", the board said it was worried at the timing of the report, given the current mood of the country.

Recalling that the issue transpired over a decade ago, JAMB said in the statement through its Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, that it was "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."

The full statement read: "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."

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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