The Anambra State Government has set up a probe panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged forged scores of its indigene, Ms. Mmesoma Ejikeme, though she has admitted she got a text from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) that she scored 249, and not the 360 generated from a portal.
She told a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily: “After all was said and done, I now saw that I got 249. I sent them a text message there to know what really happened — the JAMB Support System. If they go to their system, they will see it there.”
But in a statement on Tuesday by Sir Paul Nwosu, its Commissioner for Information and titled, ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON JAMB/MMESOMA EJIKEME MATTER, the State Government said it has been following the JAMB/Mmesoma Ejike matter with keen interest, and like Mmesoma, seemed to wonder why the examination body went public while the Department of State Services (DSS) was cattying out investigations.
It states, “It’s important to note that Miss Mmesoma Ejike went to the office of the Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Professor Ngozi Chuma-Udeh with her UTME result to protest that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) didn’t recognise her as the candidate with the highest score.
“The Commissioner in turn called JAMB to confirm her claim but she was told that Mmesoma’s result was forged.
“It was at this point that JAMB authorities invited the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to investigate the matter and make its findings known.
“This was yet to happen when JAMB went public with the matter, thus eliciting the raucous conversations we’ve seen in the media.
“It is not our wish to join the slanging match or take sides at this stage. But as a responsible government we have decided to undertake an independent investigation into the matter.
“In the light of the above, Anambra State Government has set up a Committee of Inquiry to thoroughly investigate the JAMB/Mmesoma matter. Members of the Committee include:
1. Prof. Nkemdili Nnonyelu (Chairman)
2. Prof. Mercy Okonkwo – member
3. Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh – member
4. Prof. Maduabuchi Dukor – member
5. Prof. Jaja Nwanegbo – member
6. Rev. Sr. Prof. Mary-Felicia Opara – member
7. Rev. Cannon Dr. Uchenna Umeifekwem – member
8. Mr. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata (MD, Anambra Information Communication Technology Agency) – member
“The findings of this Committee will be made public.”
Recall that in its last statement which announced the banning of the Anambra State indigene from sitting for its examination for three year, JAMB had said its system was not tampered with, insisting that the young lady’s result showing 360 was forged.
An Acting director and spokesman with the examination body, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said in the statement titled, “EJIKEME JOY MMESOME: WE SHALL CONTINUE TO SERVE WITH INTEGRITY”: “The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) 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’ misadventure. Prominent among these is the case of a candidate, John Chinedu Ifesinachi, who, in 2021, wrote a letter to the Board , threatening to sue for N2b damages, only for him and his counsel to tender unreserved apology when the candidate eventually confessed his crime in the face of incontrovertible facts in an open investigation observed by several national public institutions including the Public Complaints Commission, National Human Rights Commission, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council, Servicom and media houses.
“This case has, therefore, being rightly handed over to relevant security agencies for thorough investigation to unravel the masterminds of yet another unfortunate scam.
“The Board is not averse to public scrutiny and is ready for 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.
“Another frightening dimension to the unfolding drama is the unwholesome interest of some nefarious elements, who to all intents and purposes, are determined to goad the candidate on this unproductive path as any casual observer would observe with the obviously stage-managed video aired by Ms. Ejikeme. The Board urges these confusionists to have a rethink as their evil machinations would soon come to light.
“Again, the Board restates its readiness for genuine scrutiny as this case would not be the first time and might not even be the last of such shenanigans. At the end of the day, the truth would manifest and the Board vindicated.
“In the meantime, the management of the Board urges member of the public to examine critically the issue at hand and avoid fake news trafficking.
“In the meantime, the management of the Board, after considering the weighty infraction committed by Ms. Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma, and in line with it’s established procedures, has withdrawn her 2023 UTME result and also barred her from sitting the Board’s examination for the next three years.”