Fake UTME score: Confusion as student says result printed from JAMB portal

A CANDIDATE of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) Mmesoma Joy Ejikeme, accused by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) of faking her score, has denied the accusation, saying the result was obtained from the examination body.

In a video released on Monday, July 3, Ejikeme said she printed the result, now being described as manipulated, directly from the JAMB portal.

“I went to JAMB portal to print this result, and is what they gave me. This is my aggregate, 362, this is exactly how I printed it out and downloaded from that site. So they now saying that I forged my result, is what I don’t know, and I’m traumatised that they accused me of forging my own result. I am not capable of this,” she said, holding up a copy of the printed result sheet.

“They scanned this QR code there and it showed another name. A Yoruba name Omotola Afolabi, 138. And that same person that got 138, they checked again, the person got 338. Meaning that there is problem somewhere,” Ejikeme said.

She also stated that she had paid a visit to the State’s Commissioner of Education Ngozi Chuma-Udeh with the result, along with her principal, on Friday, June 30.

According to her, the commissioner snapped and sent a copy of the printed result to JAMB officials, who claimed that the scores were forged, as they had no record of it.

Ejikeme said officials of the State Security Service (SSS) were invited to resolve the issue by JAMB and disclosed that they would investigate the source of the result.

“Instead of them to wait for the investigation to be over, they posted that I forged my result without confirming,” she said.

Overall best candidate 

On Saturday, June 25, the Anambra State Ministry of Education celebrated Ejikeme, a student of Anglican Girls Secondary School, Nnewi, said to be the daughter of a commercial bike rider, for emerging as the overall best candidate of the 2023 UTME.

Chuma-Udeh described the feat as a source of joy and celebration to every Anambra indigene, adding that the state would subsequently monitor her academic progress.

Nigerian automobile manufacturer Innoson Motors commended Ejikeme’s efforts in the examinations and awarded her a N3 million scholarship.

JAMB disputes result

In an unlikely twist of events, JAMB disputed Ejikeme’s result a few days later, describing it as inflated.

In a statement by the Head of Public Affairs and Press, Fabian Benjamin, on Sunday, July 2, the examination body announced that Ejikeme originally scored 249 and manipulated the results to secure scholarships fraudulently.

“With this her ignoble act, Miss Mmesoma would be prosecuted and her original result withdrawn. This is not all, as the Board would, in due course, investigate all candidates laying claims to higher scores than they actually obtained.

“Once discovered, such candidates’ original results would be withdrawn forthwith, and they would be handed over to relevant security agencies for prosecution,” Benjamin noted.

Innoson threatens to withdraw scholarship

Following the allegations by JAMB, Innoson said that Ejikeme’s scholarship would be withdrawn if she was found guilty of forging the results.

Head of Corporate Communications at Innoson Group Cornel Osigwe disclosed this via his Twitter account. He, however, noted that the scholarship would stand if the mix-up originated from JAMB.

“We’re doing our independent investigation on the issue of manipulation; if we found that the girl willfully manipulated her result, we shall withdraw the scholarship, but if we observe she is innocent of the accusation, then the scholarship stands, whether she is the best or not.

“That girl was one of the most brilliant in her school, according to the principal, her parents couldn’t even afford to pay for her WEAC and NECO Exams. Of what advantage will it offer her to manipulate her JAMB score?” Osigwe asked.

Anambra govt sets up panel of inquiry

Chuma-Udeh announced on Monday, July 3, that the state government had initiated a panel of inquiry into the controversy.

The panel would work with security operatives to investigate the allegations of falsification against Ejikeme. Chuma-Udeh described the situation as embarrassing.

Ezekwesili calls for probe

After Ejikeme’s video began circulating across social media, Nigeria’s former Minister for Education Oby Ezekwesili called for a forensic investigation into the issue.

In a post via her official Twitter handle on Monday, July 3, Ezekwesili said she had reached out to the JAMB Registrar Is-haq Oloyede over the controversy.

“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.

“An Independent investigation would turn this curious episode into a Learning Opportunity for @JAMBHQ and everyone, especially students,” Ezekwesili noted.

Nigerians question DSS involvement

Meanwhile, Nigerians have questioned the involvement of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the controversy.

According to information on the organisation’s website, the functions of the DSS include prevention and detection of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria; and protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters concerning the internal security of Nigeria.

Others are “prevention, detection and investigation of threats of espionage, subversion, sabotage, terrorism, separatist agitations, inter-group conflicts, economic crimes of national security dimension and threats to law and order; provision of protective security for designated principal government functionaries, sensitive installations and visiting dignitaries; provision of timely advice to Government on all matters of National security interest and such other functions as may, from time to time, be assigned to it”.




     

     

    Based on these, Nigerians, who generally view the DSS as an organisation responsible for ensuring national security, have described its involvement in the controversy as extreme.

    “When a snake was alleged to have swallowed N36 million from JAMB office, did they invite the DSS!???” a Twitter user FS Yusuf asked.

    “They called the DSS on a little child. Not police o… Like DSS,” Esteembehemoth tweeted.

    Another user Micheal Owolabi expressed confusion over the role of the DSS following the organisation’s involvement in the controversy.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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