JAMB maintains that Miss Ejikeme’s claimed result is fraudulent, as it has discontinued the issuance of Notification of Result slips after the 2021 UTME due to widespread falsification by candidates.
In response, Romanus Ejikeme, Mmesoma’s father, accuses a conspiracy to deny his daughter her deserved academic achievement.
Furthermore, a civil rights advocacy group called the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, criticized JAMB for its position on Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma and the alleged result of forgery. The group urged for a thorough investigation 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 endeavor 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 apologize 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.”
Yesterday, the JAMB responded with a strong criticism to a video of Mmesoma Ejikeme, a candidate for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), defending herself against accusations of forging her results.
Ejikeme insists that the “results notification” slip, which displays a score of 362, was printed from the JAMB results portal. However, JAMB disputes her claim, stating that her actual score is 249 and that she is presenting a result fabricated using an outdated template that hasn’t been in use for two years.
During a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, JAMB spokesperson Fabian Benjamin raised doubts about Ejikeme’s involvement in the alleged forgery. Benjamin referred to her demeanor in the video, suggesting that someone was coaching her on what to say.
Benjamin emphasized that Ejikeme’s defense seemed orchestrated by unidentified individuals, and JAMB is determined to identify them. When asked about the source of the results, JAMB indicated that they originated from unofficial channels referred to as “the street.” Benjamin also mentioned another instance where a candidate claimed a score of 400 out of 400, further highlighting the mockery being made of the situation.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has established a committee of inquiry to investigate the matter. JAMB expressed its interest in participating in the process.
Mmesoma’s father strongly believes there is a conspiracy to deny his daughter the recognition she rightfully deserves. He asserts that Mmesoma has consistently demonstrated academic excellence since her nursery school days, always achieving the top 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.
In addition, Victor Uwajeh, the Chief Investigator of Global Private Investigators Limited, a UK-based firm, has called for a thorough and discreet investigation into the controversy surrounding the top scorer of the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Uwajeh, an acclaimed International Investigator, released a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, urging the Federal Government to conduct an independent inquiry that does not involve the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). He expressed his disappointment that JAMB, as the Nigerian entrance examination board for tertiary institutions, has become a subject of mockery, accusing a teenager of fraud without concrete evidence. Uwajeh emphasized the need for proper investigation before publicizing such matters rather than resorting to a media trial.
In a separate development, the Nnewi Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, which owns the Anglican Girls Secondary School (AGSS) where Mmesoma Ejikeme is a student, announced that the issue regarding her alleged forgery of the UTME score would be addressed today. The church has taken charge of Mmesoma’s case and has instructed both the school authorities and the girl herself not to comment on the matter any further. As a result, the school’s principal, Mrs. Uchechukwu Edum, who initially agreed to speak about the issue, has declined all requests for an interview. Furthermore, Mmesoma and all students from the school have been prohibited from speaking to anyone. In fact, Mmesoma has reportedly been taken to the Bishop’s Court to avoid contact with the public.