Nigerians Knock Mmesoma As Authentic UTME Top Scorer Gets N2.5m Gift

Ejikeme Mmesoma, the student who forged her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result, is currently being criticized on social media, especially by those who supported her initially.

Meanwhile, Kamsiyochukwu Umeh, who was confirmed by Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as the best candidate, has got a cash gift of N2.5 million from Dr Eric Umeofia, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of Erisco Foods Limited.

Umeofia made this known in an interview with The PUNCH on Friday.

Umeh, a student of Deeper Life High School, Mowe in Ogun State, emerged as the best candidate in the 2023 UTME with a cumulative score of 360.

The student, an indigene of Anambra State, scored 99 in Chemistry, 98 in Mathematics, 97 in Physics, and 66 in English in the examination.

Mmesoma has been in the news since JAMB punctured her claim of being the highest scorer in the 2023 UTME.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had said the student “actually got 249 in the exam and not 362” as widely assumed.

This had triggered a huge controversy. Amid the back and forth, Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra set up a committee to investigate the issue.

But a few days into the sitting of the eight-man panel of inquiry, Mmesoma appeared on a television programme where she backed down on her claim of scoring 362.

The panel, in its report, indicted the candidate and asked her to tender an apology to JAMB.

According to the report of the panel, Mmseoma was summoned alongside JAMB officials and those of the school Mmesoma attended.

“Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma admitted that she manipulated the fake results herself, using her phone.

“She owned up in the presence of her principal, and the Education Secretary that the narration by the JAMB officials was a true and correct description of what transpired. She also admitted to have given a manipulated result by herself unaided, using the same phone Airtel Number.

“The Principal, Anglican Girls’ Secondary School — Mrs Edu Uche and the Education Secretary, Diocese of Nnewi (Anglican Communion) expressed dismay at the conduct of Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma.

“According to her, she proceeded to the cybercafe (Prisca Global Computers, Uruagu, Nnewi) where she printed the results she had manipulated,” the report read.

This medium reports that some Nigerians who supported Mmseoma have backtracked.

Earlier, a former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, insisted that an independent technology investigation should be instituted by JAMB, despite the position of the student that she actually scored 249.

In a tweet on Saturday, Ezekwesili said she was satisfied with the process and findings of the investigation.

“I am satisfied with the process and findings of their investigation which gave Mmesoma fair hearing to enable the Committee to gather all facts.

“It was necessary to have independent evidence that the result Mmesoma laid claim to publicly was not only fake but that the forgery was personally orchestrated by her.

“There are usually syndicates at the center of perpetration of exam malpractices in Nigeria but it appears not to be so in Mmesoma’s case from the facts of the Committee’s report.,” her tweet read in part.

A Facebook user, Fred Chukwuelobe, while expressing disappointment, apologized to all his friends for giving Mmesoma the benefit of doubt.

He wrote: “I just got off the phone with one of the members of the committee set up by the Anambra State Government to probe the Mmesoma-JAMB imbroglio, and she confirmed the committee findings to me: that Mmesoma Ejikeme forged her result. That much she (Mmesoma) admitted. I am crestfallen. I am disappointed.

“I apologise to all my friends for giving Mmesoma Ejikeme the benefit of doubt. If a 19-year-old could do this, then we are in trouble. Mmesoma has disgraced all of us who spoke in her favour. Like the committee recommends, she should go for a psychological evaluation. She should apologise to JAMB. She should face the consequences. She obtained it by false pretence, that is, 419.”

Another Facebook user, Modestus Chukwulaka, wrote: “She disappointed all of us who offered support. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We acted in good faith. And it’s a learning curve for all. As I have said elsewhere, she owes Nigerians, in particular JAMB, an unreserved apology.

“She has not done that. All she has said is that a three-year ban is UNFAIR, and I find this disgusting. It means she is still to appreciate the gravity of her crime. I personally think that deserving as the punishment is, it will be in the interest of all that it is mitigated. But she has to demonstrate compunction first.”

Bethrand Chukulobi wrote: “It’s so disappointing for a young girl of her age to be involved in this level of forgery that brought so much embarrassment to her School and State. What was she thinking when she boldly received an undeserving scholarship of 3m from Innoson 🤦. She should face the consequences of her action.”

Ebony Blossom said: “Chai, I was among those that was saying that the girl is too innocent to do this forgery. Ifele emegbu o m!

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