JAMB violating Mmesoma’s rights, HURIWA wants management probed

Mmesoma and JAMB trade words over result

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, flayed the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for alleged discrimination against and violation of the rights of Miss Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma in its handling of the ‘forged result’ saga.

In a statement, yesterday, by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group urged probe of the Prof. Ishaq Oloyede-led management and justice for the 16-year-old Anambra indigene.

Stating that the examinations body, without proper substantiation, accused the adolescent of manipulating her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result to fraudulently get scholarship and recognition, HURIWA added 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.”

The body said: “It is worth noting that JAMB has failed to provide crucial details such as how the alleged manipulation occurred, when it happened, whether it was an individual act or involved a group of individuals, or even the specific app or software supposedly used to hack JAMB’s database or server.

“It is clear that the distinction between manual and electronic manipulation has been deliberately blurred by JAMB.

“By launching these baseless accusations against Miss Ejikeme, JAMB has not only undermined her reputation, but has also shown a complete disregard for her rights as a child, as outlined in the Child Rights Act of 2003.

“JAMB’s actions have demonstrated either a gross ignorance of or contempt for Nigerian laws, particularly those protecting the rights of children.”

HURIWA argued that JAMB’s motive behind the attack on the youngster was rooted in discrimination.

According to the group, “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.”It went on: “This reprehensible act is a clear violation of the principles of fairness, equality and the rights of Nigerian citizens.”

THE condemnation came as the examination body barred the teenager from taking the test in the next three years. It also assured Nigerians that its system was neither tampered with nor compromised.

JAMB boss, Prof. Oloyede, stated that his organisation had concluded investigation of the case.He said Mmesoma was not the only candidate caught for falsifying results.

His words: “The truth is that JAMB has concluded the investigation of Nmesoma’s score falsification matter. Presently, there is an industry faking results and unfortunately, they cannot penetrate JAMB system, reasons being that (our) system is foolproof, and we will prove it any time.

“There is an internal evidence to show that the change in Ejikeme’s scores was done with her collaboration. There are certain features pertaining to her that only her knows unless she makes it available to somebody else. They couldn’t have increased her scores on her behalf.

“We improved on our facilities this year. So, Ejikeme and her collaborators are still living in the past. We are no longer using some of the things they used in changing those results since 2021. We used that pattern in 2021, and you saw what happened and many of such individuals were caught and treated accordingly.”

Corroborating ‘fakeness’ of the result, the oganisation, in a statement by its Acting Director, Press and Publicity, Fabian Benjamin, explained 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.”

It continued: “To witness the unassailable position of the Board regarding this obvious falsehood, the general public is, therefore, urged to endeavour to scan the QR code on the result slip to see its actual owner before it was mutilated.

“It is to be noted that the QR code encapsulates the UTME result of each candidate, hence, what is on the result sheet is nothing other than the interpretation of the information on this QR code.

“Furthermore, the public is also to note that the Board stopped issuing Notification of Result slips after the 2021 UTME for the simple reason that candidates were falsifying them. Consequently, the Board has been issuing actual UTME RESULT slips (not notification of results) since 2022 complete with the photograph of each candidate.

“Similarly, the public is also invited to ponder on the fact that out of all the candidates that sat the 2023 UTME, only Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma parades the obsolete ‘Notification of Result.’

“The Board remains unperturbed by this unfortunate development as this is not the first time such fraudulent claims have been made. As such, Nigerians are urged to recall numerous occasions where the Board was sued for billions of naira only for the lawyers to later apologize profusely for their clients’ misadventure.

“Prominent 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 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 Competition and Consumer Protection Council, Servicom and media houses.

“This case has, therefore, been rightly handed over to relevant security agencies for thorough investigation to unravel the masterminds of yet another unfortunate scam. The Board is not averse to public scrutiny and is ready for open public session involving the agencies listed above, as well as relevant security agencies where the candidate, parents and her legal team will be present.

“Another frightening dimension to the unfolding drama is the unwholesome interest of some nefarious elements, who to all intents and purposes, are determined to goad the candidate on this unproductive path as any casual observer would observe with the obviously stage-managed video aired by Miss Ejikeme.”

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