2016 admissions: How Ojerinde was fired over 'fight' with Education Minister
Fresh facts have emerged on the sacking of Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde as the
Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board
by the Federal Government.
It was learnt that Ojerinde has long been penciled down for sack by
government because of his ‘fight’ and disagreement with the Minister of
Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, over the 2016 admission exercise into
Universities and other tertiary institutions.
Their disagreement was said to have deepened after the cancellation of the
Post-Universities Tertiary Matriculation Examination by the Minister.
Several calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages to Ojerinde for response to his
sack were not replied as his phones have been permanently switched off.
Adamu was said to have waited for an opportunity to clean up the education
sector where many other chief executives would be affected.
“For us, the removal of Ojerinde as Registrar/Chief Executive of JAMB did
not come as a surprise. The Minister is very smart because he knew he was
dealing with a Professor. What Adamu did was to wait for an opportunity
when many CEOs would be involved.
“If Ojerinde had been sacked earlier, it would be seen to be
politically-motivated. But now that many of them were affected, nobody can
read politics into it”, a source in the Education Ministry who pleaded
Another source gave a detailed explanation on the cold war that had been
brewing between Ojerinde and Adamu.
He said, “After the cancellation of the Post-UTME, it was clearly stated
that admissions will be based on the three criteria of Merit, Catchment
and Educationally Less Developed States. Since there is no Post-UTME,
after sending them the bigger list, what Ojerinde did was, to prepare a
list that reflected these three criteria.
“Nobody knows what the authorities of Universities told the Minister and
based on whatever they may have told him, Adamu advised him to withdraw
the list in his own interest. Ojerinde is another stubborn person,
especially if he knows he is very right in what he is doing. He declined
and refused to withdraw it.
“After examinations, JAMB usually sent print out to the Universities. JAMB
sent a bigger print out. But after agreement that admissions will be based
on the three criteria, JAMB sent out a smaller print out which reflected
the three criteria. The Universities were not happy that JAMB conducted
admissions. If you look at the Act establishing JAMB, it empowers JAMB to
“But the Universities are saying the University Act empowers the Senate to
conduct admissions. But the Act establishing JAMB has not been repealed.
When you make a law, it doesn’t automatically overpower it. You either
repeal it or retain with but say without prejudice the other. So, there is
so much confusion.”
Our correspondent learnt that sensing danger Ojerinde, decided to withdraw
the list of candidates that was sent to the Universities and assuage the
temper of the Minister.
“But it was very late, Ojerinde should have withdrawn it earlier. This was
just the cause of their disagreement. Despite the protest from Vice
Chancellors, the Minister was solidly behind him during the cancellation
of the Post-UTME.
“If he had withdrawn it, I can tell you that Ojerinde would have escaped
the tsunami which shook the education sector on Monday because he did very
well in JAMB, especially with the introduction of Computer-Based Test”,
the source stated.
When contacted, a senior Director in the Education Ministry who spoke on
the condition of anonymity said “Ojerinde disobeyed ministerial directive
and if you call that fighting, that is your own interpretation.”
Our correspondent reports that Ojerinde had withdrawn the list of
recommended candidates for admission earlier sent to Universities and
other tertiary institutions.
The announcement was contained in a terse statement by the spokesperson of
JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjmin.
According to him, the decision was to ensure that the Senate of
Universities perform their statutory responsibility of conducting the
selection of candidates and refer it to JAMB for confirmation in line with
the admission criteria of merit, catchment and educationally disadvantaged
states as directed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu,
during the policy committee meeting.
Benjamin had said the earlier list was sent to help fasttrack the process
of admission so as to allow other tiers of institutions also conduct their
“Candidates should not panic because this is part of the process of the
2016 admission exercise. JAMB regrets any inconvenience this decision
would have caused the tertiary institutions”, he had stated.
Ojerinde, had given conditions for the 2016 admission saying it would only
give approval “after appropriate screening of the candidates by the
He had said, “JAMB wishes to state that the latest list of candidates sent
to all the tertiary institutions contains candidates who qualified for
screening based on the individual institutions capacity. It’s not in any
way an admission list.
“However, if this list is not sufficient for the need of any institution,
such institution can source from the omnibus printout earlier sent to them
by the Board. The public and all tertiary institutions should note that
admission will only be approved by the board after appropriate screening
of the candidates by the institutions.
“The list which is made up of candidates who met the national cut-off
point within the set criteria are sent to the institutions. Again, for
purposes of clarity, all institutions that have need for more can source
from their omnibus printout as stated above. The candid intention of the
Board is to ensure that available spaces are adequately utilised.”
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