Metro

July 6, 2023

UTME: Lift your 3-year sanction on Mmesoma, stop further action, Reps tell JAMB

Ejikeme Mmesoma

By Levinus Nwabughiogu & Joseph Erunke

The House of Representatives, yesterday, asked the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, to lift the three-year ban on Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma, a candidate of the 2023 Unified Tartary Matriculation Examination, UTME, for alleged manipulation of her result.

It also, at plenary, set up an ad hoc committee, chaired by Sada Soli, to investigate the allegations of manipulations and falsification of results.

The House equally resolved to probe JAMB facilities, with a view to averting an occurrence of such a situation in the future, and called for independent examiners to examine the candidate’s scripts to determine her actual score in the UTME.

The committee is also to look into the issue of special centres for examinations in the country.

Consequently, the House asked JAMB to halt further action on the issue, pending the conclusion and outcome of the investigation.

The resolutions came on the heels of a motion, captioned: ‘Call to Investigate Alleged Manipulation of Unified Tartary Matriculation Examination, UTME, by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, by Miss Ejikeme’, presented at the plenary by Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante.

Presenting the motion, Abiante noted that JAMB was primarily charged with the general control of the conduct of matriculation examinations for admissions into universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria, calling for an investigation.

He said: “Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma of Anglican Girls Secondary School, Nnewi, Anambra State, sat for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations and scored 362.

”On 2 July 2023 JAMB, Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin made a public pronouncement accusing Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma of manipulating her UTME results that she actually scored 249 instead of the 362 as claimed.

“Miss. Ejikeme Mmesoma came out to defend herself, that she actually printed the result from the JAMB Buncharitable and had been a brilliant child all through her nursery and tertiary education, coming first in all the examinations she had been taken before the UTME, hence she posited that she is not capable of manipulating her UTME result.

“The fact that uploading or downloading result of examinations or polls electronically, in Nigeria, glitches can occur at any time, hence the need to establish the facts before any blames.

“There should be an investigation. If the young lady was manipulated, the investigation will reveal that.

If JAMB had a structural issue, the investigation will reveal that so that this thing does not continue to happen,” he said.

Contributing to the debate, Tanko Sununu from Kebbi State said: “If we don’t know the security of the result that is going to be issued, then, it’s a serious issue.”

On his part, Ademorin Kuye from Lagos State warned that the innocence of the candidate must be presumed until the investigation was concluded.

“I want to sound a note of warning concerning our comments on this floor. As parliamentarians with powers to investigate all agencies of government, we must presume innocence on the part of the girl.

”We must presume or assume that JAMB has acted pursuant to the law establishing it and then the ad hoc committee will look into all the facts and then come up with a decision. I am in support of the motion,” he said.

Also contributing, Ugonna Ozuruigbo from Imo State, said: “I was privy to watch a video where a lady was demonstrating how to manipulate JAMB website…JAMB is reduced to a point where they will be dragging the authenticity of their own result with a student.”

The House while adopting the motion, gave the committee three weeks to conclude and report back for further legislative action.

Meanwhile, Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme has said she saw 249 as her score in the text message sent to her by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board,JAMB.

Ejikeme, a candidate of JAMB’s 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination,UTME,said this yesterday while featuring on Channels Television’s breakfst programme, Sunrise Daily.“She, however,said she should not be blamed for the mix up.

It will be recalled that the 19-year-old had claimed to have earned JAMB’s highest score after her UTME result slip showed 362.

But JAMB had faulted the result, stressing that she forged it.“The claims and counter-claims between Mmesoma and JAMB caused a major controversy across Nigeria.

Amid the controversy, the board insisted she forged the result on a template it stopped using since 2021.
Admitting that the first result was wrong, Mmesoma said she should not be blamed for the mix up. “After all 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.

“She also faulted JAMB’s three-year ban on her, stressing that it was not her fault.““It’s not my fault that I printed my result like that, and they said that I forged my result. It’s not my fault. So, banning me is not fair,” she said.

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