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[UPDATE] UTME controversy: Were probing Mmesomas result JAMB Anambra govt

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THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has announced the suspension of Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma from writing its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, for three years, over alleged forgery of her 2023 result.

It insisted that the result being paraded by Miss Ejikeme was forged, explaining that it had since stopped issuing Notification of Result slips after the 2021 UTME, for the simple reason that candidates were falsifying them.

This came as Romanus Ejikeme, the father of Mmesoma, alleged that there is a conspiracy to deprive his daughter of her hard-earned academic success.

This is even as a civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, yesterday, flayed the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, over its stance on one Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma, of allegedly faking her results, and called for proper investigations into the matter.

JAMB, in a statement to this effect, yesterday morning, by its Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Fabian Benjamin, reassured “Nigerians that its system was neither tampered with nor compromised, as the candidate simply falsified a copy of a result slip of a candidate named ‘Asimiyu Mariam Omobolanle’, who sat the UTME in 2021 and scored 138.”

The statement read in full: “The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board is, hereby, restating its earlier position that the UTME result being paraded by Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma is patently fake.

“Consequently, the Board would like to reassure Nigerians that its system was neither tampered with nor compromised as the candidate simply falsified a copy of a result slip of a candidate named “Asimiyu Mariam Omobolanle”, who sat the UTME in 2021 and scored 138.

“It is also instructive to note that the candidate, in her statement, has inadvertently revealed the rightful owner of the result she is parading when she pointed out that the QR code on the result slip showed the actual owner of the said result before she peddled a lie in an attempt to obfuscate the truth.

“To witness the unassailable position of the Board regarding this obvious falsehood, the general public is, therefore, urged to endeavour to scan the QR code on the result slip to see its actual owner before it was mutilated.

“It is to be noted that the QR code encapsulates the UTME result of each candidate, hence, what is on the result sheet is nothing other than the interpretation of the information on this QR code.

“Furthermore, the public is also to note that the Board stopped issuing Notification of Result slips after the 2021 UTME for the simple reason that candidates were falsifying them. Consequently, the Board has been issuing actual UTME result Slips (not notification of results) since 2022, complete with the photograph of each candidate.

“Similarly, the public is also invited to ponder on the fact that out of all the candidates that sat the 2023 UTME, only Ms. Ejikeme Mmesoma parades the obsolete ‘Notification of Result’.

“The Board remains unperturbed by this unfortunate development as this is not the first time such fraudulent claims have been made. As such, Nigerians are urged to recall numerous occasions where the Board was sued for billions of naira, only for the lawyers to later apologise profusely for their clients’ misadventures.

“”This case has, therefore, been rightly handed over to relevant security agencies for a thorough investigation, to unravel the masterminds of yet another unfortunate scam.

“The Board is not averse to public scrutiny and is ready for an open public session involving the agencies listed above as well as relevant security agencies where the candidate, parent’s guardian, and her legal team will be present.

“In the meantime, the management of the Board, after considering the weighty infraction committed by Ms. Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma, and in line with its established procedures, has withdrawn her 2023 UTME result and also barred her from sitting the Board’s examination for the next three years.”

Somebody’s coaching her

The JAMB, yesterday, responded critically to a video of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, candidate Mmesoma Ejikeme defending herself against the accusation of forged results.

While Ejikeme says the “results notification” slip showing a score of 362 was printed from the JAMB results portal, JAMB argues her true score is 249 and that she is parading a result created using a template the board has not used in two years.

However, JAMB spokesman Fabian Benjamin, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, questioned Ejikeme’s role in the alleged forgery.

Asked to elaborate on a previous statement by him that the candidate might not have been the originator of the purportedly doctored result, Benjamin referred to her demeanour in her video.

“If you look at her posture – look at the video very well, if you look at the video critically, you will see that somebody is coaching her on what to say. Just sit down and look at the video she posted yesterday,” he said.
Insisting that Ejikeme’s defence was being orchestrated by ‘people’, he added that “certainly, there are people behind it and those are the people we are looking for.”

Asked where the results could have emanated from, JAMB says it came from ‘the street’.

“Funny enough, as I was coming here, somebody even called me that a candidate is parading another result that he scored 400 over 400. You can see that they’re making jest of the whole thing, having this slip and mutilating it,” he said.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has set up a committee of enquiry into the matter, as the JAMB spokesman noted that the exam body would want to be a part of the process.

There’s conspiracy to deprive my daughter of her hard-earned success—Mmesoma’s father

Reacting to the claim by JAMB that her daughter forged the score, Ejikeme said that her daughter had shown consistent academic brilliance right from her nursery school days.

According to him, Mmesoma had always taken first position in her classes.

Ejikeme said: “We are from Oduma in Aninri local government in Enugu State, but, we live in Uruagu, Nnewi.
“Mmesoma is my first child. She had always taken first position from the time she was in the nursery school at Ogbunike Central School.

“When she was at Oba Girls Secondary School, Mmesoma was representing the school in competitions. So when she changed to Anglican Girls Secondary School, her teachers in Oba Girls came and pleaded with me, begging me to retain her in their school because she was promoting the name of their school.

“Mmesoma cannot manipulate her UTME score. I don’t believe what they are saying.

“They just want to transfer that scholarship to another person. That is why they are saying that Mmesoma did not make that score.”

When contacted, the public relations officer of the Anambra state police command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said Mmesoma’s case has not been reported to the police in the state.

“We are not aware of the case of UTME score forgery. So, I can not comment on the issue,” the PPRO said.

 

UK investigator demands discreet probe of JAMB

Also yesterday, the Chief Investigator of a United Kingdom UK-based firm, Global Private Investigators Limited, Victor Uwajeh, called for a thorough inquiry into the controversy trailing the highest scorer in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination UTME.

Uwajeh, a renowned International Investigator, in a statement issued Tuesday in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to carry out an independent probe without involving the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board JAMB.
Uwajeh said: “It is rather unfortunate that JAMB being the Nigerian entrance examination board for tertiary-level institutions, has been reduced to an object of ridicule. How do you accuse a teenager of fraud without proof?

“In saner climes, things of this nature are well investigated before it gets to the public domain. But JAMB has instead resorted to media trial.”

 

Anglican Church speaks on the matter today

Meanwhile, the Nnewi Diocese of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, which owns the Anglican Girls Secondary School, AGSS, where the embattled Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme is a student, has said that the issue of her alleged forgery of UTME score would be addressed today.

The church has already taken over Mmesoma’s case and directed the school authorities and the girl not to comment on the matter any longer.

Following the development, the principal of the school, Mrs. Uchechukwu Edum, who earlier agreed to speak on the matter, declined all promptings for an interview.

Similarly, Mmesoma and all students of the school have been barred from speaking to anybody. In fact, a source told Vanguard in Nnewi that Mmesoma has been taken to the Bishop’s Court to avoid any contact with the public.

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