UTME Fraud: “Mmesoma May Never Be Herself Again”, Educationist Advises JAMB To Reverse 3-Year Ban

UTME Fraud: “Mmesoma May Never Be Herself Again”, Educationist Advises JAMB To Reverse 3-Year Ban

  • The fake JAMB UTME result scandal involving Mmesoma Ejikeme, a teenage girl from Anambra State, has opened a new chapter
  • Mmesoma is facing a three-year ban from sitting for the subsequent three UTME examinations
  • However, there is a plea for the ban to be reversed, and an education expert says the ban might affect her negatively

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FCT, Abuja - Over the week, controversy had trailed the result of an aspiring undergraduate, Mmesoma Ejikeme, whose Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result was disputed by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Mmesoma had earlier announced that she scored 362 and has been adjudged to have obtained the highest score in JAMB.

JAMB, Mmesoma
The examination board has handed Mmesomma Ejikeme a three-year ban. Photo Credit: @NTANewsNow/Twitter and Prof Ishaq Oloyede/Facebook
Source: UGC

The news about Mmesoma's score was in the media a month ago. Still, just as admission into universities was about to commence, JAMB shocked Mmesoma with a new revelation that the result was fake and that her original score was 249 as against the 362, she had paraded earlier.

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Recall that the Innoson company, located in the candidate's home state, Anambra, had awarded her a scholarship worth over 3 million Naira.

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On the other hand, JAMB argued that the result Ejikeme paraded was last used in 2021 and that the QR code attached showed that the result belonged to one Asimiyu Mariam Omobolanle, who scored 138.

Different reactions had flooded the social space, with the 19-year-old student's father coming out in full force to debunk the allegation of forgery against his daughter.

Mmesoma defends self

Besides the reaction from the father, Mmesoma had, in a viral video, thrown darts at JAMB over the allegation, saying she was a brilliant student.

According to her, she had always come top in class, and she even scored above 300 marks in her common entrance examination.

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She alleged that the fault must have emanated from JAMB since she got her result from a cyber cafe.

She went further to state that on further check, she discovered that her QR code was that of another student who scored 138. She said this implies that JAMB got everything mixed up.

With Mmesoma's video, JAMB was automatically attacked by Nigerians who believed that, based on her own version, the young student could not forge her result. Some had blamed the exam body for rushing to the press with the allegation when due diligence had not been carried out.

Prominent Nigerians move to save Mmesoma

Prominent Nigerians had reached out to JAMB, advising it to tread cautiously and not to rush to conclusions.

Nigerian former Minister for Education, Oby Esekwesili, had called for a forensic investigation to unearth the controversy.

According to her, with the young student's side of the story, it's only fair for a proper investigation.

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She wrote on Twitter:

“This saga between Mmesoma Ejikeme and @JAMBHQ requires an Independent Tech investigation to unearth all facts. Listening to her in this video, it is reasonable to request a forensic investigation to help reveal what really happened. I have reached out to the Registrar of JAMB."

Similarly, the Human Rights Writers Association, HURIWA, had questioned JAMB for embarking on a media trial against investigating the result claims carefully before coming up with a statement.

HURIWA, in a statement by its coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, further said the image and the rights of Mmesoma were at stake with the approach employed by JAMB.

The House of Assembly had also directed JAMB to put all punitive actions against the aspiring undergraduate on hold until a proper investigation is carried out.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Awaji-Inombek Abiante (PDP: Bayelsa) at plenary.

But JAMB had continued to insist, arguing that from its investigation, the result paraded by the student was fake.

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Investigative panel indicts Mmesoma

Meanwhile, the investigative panel set up by the Anambra State Government to look into the matter released its report on Saturday, indicting Mmesoma and directing her to, without further delay, apologize to JAMB, her family, and Nigerians for deceptively putting everyone in limbo over her JAMB result.

JAMB had suspended her from taking the examination for the next three years, a decision many had considered quite harsh.

But the state government report claimed that Mmesoma had admitted to forging the result using an Airtel line.

She could not precisely state why she indulged in the act, as when asked to state her reason, she said, "NOTHING."

Nigerians withdraw empathy, support

With the development, most Nigerians who had empathized or expressed support for her during her ordeal have withdrawn the same.

Former Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili, who had earlier called JAMB and requested a forensic investigation, has now shown solidarity with JAMB, saying Mmesoma deserved the suspension and that all actions taken against her by the examination body should stand.

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She said:

"Mmesoma’s action has consequences. I, therefore, support the sanctions imposed by JAMB as a deterrent to all who participate in the systemic exam malpractices within our educational system."

Similarly, the Innoson company that earlier awarded her a scholarship worth 3 million Naira has withdrawn the reward.

In a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications and Affairs of the Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said the decision was regrettable and complicated, the development was an infringement of the values the company holds dear, particularly those that underscore its scholarship program, it said:

"In line with these principles and response to the confirmed findings, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw the scholarship awarded to Miss Joy Mmesoma Ejikeme. This action is a testament to our unyielding commitment to honesty, integrity, and merit-based recognition."

Mmesoma's dad Romanus begs Nigerians

Coming out of the shock of his daughter's act of exam manipulation, Mmesoma's father, Romanus Ejikeme, has appealed to the exams body and Nigerians to forgive her daughter, explaining that her daughter did not open up to her on time.

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Speaking in an interview with the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, Mr Ejikeme said:

“My daughter didn’t open up to me on time. When I realized the mistake she did, I blamed her a lot, but I’m still apologizing to JAMB and Nigerians to pardon her.”

We all made similar mistakes as children - Kayamo appeals for caution

Also, a former Minister, Festus Keyamo, has appealed for caution, appealing to Nigerians not to destroy her.

Keyamo said Mmesoma was a brilliant girl and must be protected from further harm despite what she did.

He said:

"She’s a brilliant girl, judging by her actual score of 249. The nation should be careful not to destroy her. What she needs is counseling, correction, and guidance. She obviously did not know the weight and gravity of what she was doing. As teenagers, most of us made juvenile mistakes that never came to light."

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Lesson from Mmesoma's ordeal

But in an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, Mr Joseph Attah, a counsellor and an educationist, said Mmesoma was in a complicated situation, saying her aspirations and dreams were on the verge of collapsing.

Attah, who lamented her action, said her situation could be seen from two perspectives while also blaming the parents for the act.

He said:

"I will like to look at her situation from two perspectives. First, Mmesoma represents the Nigerian child who is under societal pressure. In the modern society, everyone wants to dominate. And that is why I will blame the parents for letting this get into her head.
"Never tell your child that failure is a crime or an offence. This is because people must not measure up to expectations every time. Mmesoma was afraid of society. She wanted to impress her family, her school, and her friends.

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"The second aspect is that we should be careful as Nigerians not to take this matter to the level that it will end the young girl's aspiration. JAMB sanction is fine just to say what she did was bad, but a reversal of the decision would help Mmesoma to pick up her pieces again."

“I Will Still Sponsor Mmesoma Ejikeme”: Nigerian Millionaire Keeps Juicy Offer for Girl Who Forged JAMB Result

Meanwhile, a Nigerian millionaire said he would still support Mmesoma Ejikeme's education in the face of the result forgery.

The man who said he would call the girl and advise her well said she copied from Nigeria's bad leaders.

Many Nigerians praised him for helping a teenager who had lost much support since she was found guilty of JAMB result forgery.

Source: Legit.ng

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