Faking of JAMB Results, Proper Investigation Needed

Late last week came the shocking revelation by the nation’s apex examination body for university education seekers, The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), that some candidates had manipulated their results to look different from the original and allocating higher grades to themselves.

In the eye of the storm were two candidates; one from Anambra and another from Kaduna. The examination body said it had consequently withdrawn the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTEM) results of the two candidates. They are Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme from Anambra State and Mr Gerald Atung from Kaduna State.

According to JAMB, Mmesoma Ejikeme, claimed to have scored 362 as against her actual score of 249 in the 2023 UTME; while Gerald Atung claimed to have scored 380 (JAMB did not give his actual score).

JAMB, in a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin, last Sunday, said some of the 2023 UTME candidates were parading fake scores in order to get undue advantage, pointing at the award of a N3m scholarship to Miss Ejikeme by Chief Innocent Chukwuma of the INNOSON Motors fame.

The JAMB release had read:  ‘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 (Dr.) 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.

‘The Board would like to state that the likes of Mmesoma are still out there deceiving those who are always in a hurry to bestow honours on candidates without confirming from the Board.

‘A similar case was that of one Atung Gerald in Kaduna, who claimed to have scored 380. 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.

‘The Board would, therefore, want to advise the public to always cross check these claims by candidates with the Board before rushing to honour them with undeserving awards as certain software have been created to fake their version of their results and put same out in the public space for fun and this is what the sponsors of these candidates are using to defraud good-spirited Nigerians such as Dr. Innocent, the founder of Innoson Motors, who sincerely desires to celebrate academic excellence by investing in the education of a young Nigerian.

‘It is to be noted that Miss Mmesoma had sent a message to the Board’s platform to request her UTME result after which she manually inflated her scores and pasted same on the 2022 UTME result sheet. Unknown to her, the Board had changed the design of the 2023 UTME result sheet.

Her original result remains 249 as nothing can change that. 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.’

This is indeed worrisome, especially in a country where many forms of corruption have been rearing their ugly heads. But what is more shocking in this particular case are the ages of the candidates involved. If, indeed, they were able to manipulate their results as suspected, it means that age no longer matters in the commission of crime.

It can also mean that similar manipulations may have been going on undetected in many other sectors and this is bad for the overall image of a country heavily battered by massive corruption.

Given the ages of those involved in this JAMB business, many still doubt that they actually committed the crime. Even Chief Chukwuma appeared to have misgivings, with his lawyer asking the authorities to conduct serious investigations into the matter as the kid involved (Mmesoma) looked far too innocent to have committed the crime.

We also lend our voice to this call, even though we cannot vouch for the innocence of anyone these days in Nigeria. But still, JAMB should give the affected candidates the benefit of doubt by conducting an in-depth investigation to determine if the candidates wilfully did it or committed the act in error. If at the end of the day, they are found culpable, we won’t hesitate to urge JAMB to sanction them appropriately.

This is to avert this phenomenon quickly spreading and becoming the norm in the country’s educational system. It is necessary to sanction them if found guilty in order to preserve what is left of the sanctity of the nation’s education system.