UTME ‘top performer’ manipulated score, faces prosecution — JAMB

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has said it will prosecute one Ejikeme Mmesoma for allegedly inflating her score from 249 to 362 in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, thus parading herself as the 2023 UTME top scorer.

The examination body said it also uncovered one Atung Gerald from Kaduna  State, who never sat the exam, but claimed to have scored 380.

In a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Dr Fabian Benjamin, JAMB said it found the case of Mmesoma particularly pathetic as she had allegedly hoodwinked unspecting members of the public, including businessman, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, who offered her N3m in scholarship, while a state honour was being planned to celebrate her.

The JAMB spokesperson said, “The attention of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has been drawn to several publications in both print and online media celebrating certain candidates for being high scorers in the 2023 UTME.

The board is constrained to set the records straight and wishes to state unequivocally that many of the results which many of these candidates are parading are fake. In many instances, some of these candidates had actually obtained far lower scores than they are claiming and had used some funny software packages to manipulate their results to deceive unsuspecting members of the public.

“The most pathetic of them all is the case of Miss Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma, who claimed to have scored 362 in the 2023 UTME and was awarded a N3m scholarship by Chief Innocent Chukwuma.

“She was even set to be honoured by the Anambra State Government when one of its top officials put a call through to JAMB to confirm her claim only for the board to reveal that Miss Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma had actually scored 249 and not 362 she claimed.

She had manipulated her UTME result to deceive the public to fraudulently obtain scholarship and other recognitions.”

On the case of Gerald, who claimed to have scored 380, JAMB said, “His ethnic group had taken the issue up, requesting that he should be given special recognition only for the board to disappoint them with the incontestable fact that Atung never obtained the 2023 UTME application documents not to talk of sitting the examination.”

JAMB said, “With this her ignoble act, Miss  Mmesoma would be prosecuted and her original result withdrawn.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.”

The Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, told The PUNCH that the state already discovered Nmesioma’s claim to be false and had gone ahead to honour another candidate, Nkechinyere Umeh, who scored 360.