- Examining body completes inquiry, claims its system is not corrupted, and results are forged
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) condemned the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday for claimed discrimination against and violation of Miss Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma’s rights in its handling of the ‘fabricated result’ scandal.
In a statement issued yesterday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the organization called for an investigation into the administration of Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and justice for the 16-year-old Anambra indigene.
Stating that the examinations board falsely accused the adolescent of falsifying her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results in order to fraudulently obtain scholarship and recognition, HURIWA went on to say that “this reckless and seemingly official statement has resulted in a relentless condemnation of an innocent girl, who achieved the highest score in the JAMB examination.”
“It is worth noting that JAMB has failed to provide crucial details such as how the alleged manipulation occurred, when it occurred, whether it was an individual act or involved a group of individuals, or even the specific app or software allegedly used to hack JAMB’s database or server,” the body stated.
“It is clear that JAMB has purposefully blurred the distinction between manual and electronic manipulation.”
“By leveling these baseless charges against Miss Ejikeme, JAMB has not only harmed her reputation, but also demonstrated a complete disregard for her rights as a child, as outlined in the Child Rights Act of 2003.”
“JAMB’s actions have demonstrated either gross ignorance or contempt for Nigerian laws, particularly those protecting the rights of children.”
HURIWA contended that the attack on the child was motivated by discrimination on the part of JAMB.
The group believes that “the repeated mention of Anambra State and INNOSON in their ill-advised public statement suggests a biased agenda aimed at undermining a young girl’s achievements simply because of her geographical and ethnic background.””This heinous act is a clear violation of the principles of fairness, equality, and the rights of Nigerian citizens,” it continued.
THE CENSUS came as the examination authority forbade the adolescent from taking the exam for the following three years. It also assured Nigerians that its system had not been tampered with or corrupted in any way.
Prof. Oloyede, the head of JAMB, claimed that his organization had completed its inquiry into the case.He stated that Mmesoma was not the only contestant who was detected manipulating results.
“The truth is that JAMB has completed its investigation into Nmesoma’s score falsification matter,” he said. There is currently an industry fabricating results, but they cannot enter the JAMB system since (our) system is failsafe, and we will show it at any moment.
“There is internal evidence that the change in Ejikeme’s scores was accomplished with her collaboration.” Certain characteristics about her are only known to her unless she makes them available to others. They couldn’t possibly have improved her grades on her behalf.
“This year, we improved our facilities.” So Ejikeme and her colleagues are still stuck in the past. Since 2021, we have not employed some of the methods they used to change those outcomes. We adopted that pattern in 2021, and you saw what happened; many such individuals were apprehended and handled appropriately.”
In a statement issued by its Acting Director, Press and Publicity, Fabian Benjamin, the organization revealed that Mmesoma “simply falsified a copy of a result slip of a candidate named Asimiyu Mariam Omobolanle, who sat the UTME in 2021 and scored 138.”
According to JAMB, “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 Board’s unassailable position regarding this obvious falsehood, the general public is therefore urged to scan the QR code on the result slip to see its actual owner before it was mutilated,” it continued.
“It should be noted that the QR code encapsulates each candidate’s UTME result; thus, what appears on the result sheet is nothing more than the interpretation of the information on this QR code.”
“Furthermore, the public should be aware that the Board discontinued issuing Notification of Result slips following the 2021 UTME due to candidates falsifying them.” As a result, the Board has started providing genuine UTME RESULT slips (rather than communication of results) since 2022, replete with each candidate’s photograph.
“Similarly, the public is invited to reflect on the fact that, of all the candidates who took the 2023 UTME, only Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma parades the outmoded ‘Notification of Result.'”
“The Board is unconcerned about this unfortunate development because such fraudulent claims have been made before.” As a result, Nigerians are asked to recall several instances where the Board was sued for billions of naira, only for the lawyers to eventually profusely apologize for their clients’ error.
“Among these is the case of a candidate, John Chinedu Ifesinachi, who, in 2021, wrote a letter to the Board threatening to sue for N2 billion damages, only for him and his counsel to tender an 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 Competence Commission, and Federal Competence Commission.”
“As a result, this case has been appropriately handed over to relevant security agencies for thorough investigation in order to uncover the masterminds of yet another unfortunate scam.” The Board welcomes public scrutiny and is prepared for an open public session with the agencies stated above, as well as necessary security authorities, in which the candidate, parents, and legal team will be present.
“Another frightening dimension to the unfolding drama is the unwholesome interest of some nefarious elements, who, for all intents and purposes, are determined to goad the candidate down this unproductive path, as any casual observer would notice with the obviously stage-managed video aired by Miss Ejikeme.”