The House of Representatives petitioned the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Wednesday to overturn the three-year ban imposed on Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma, a candidate for the 2023 Unified Tartary Matriculation Examination (UTME), for alleged result manipulation.
The House also established an ad hoc committee chaired by Sada Soli to investigate claims of manipulation and falsification of results during the plenary session.
The House also voted to investigate JAMB facilities in order to avoid a repeat of this incident in the future.
It also requested that impartial examiners analyse the candidate’s script to determine her true UTME score, and that the committee investigate the issue of special examination centres in the country.
As a result, the House requested that JAMB cease further action on the matter awaiting the completion and outcome of the probe.
The resolutions followed a motion made at the plenary by Hon. Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante titled “Call to Investigate Alleged Manipulation of Unified Tartary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB) by Miss Ejikeme.”
Abiante, who presented the motion, stated that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) was principally charged with the general regulation of the conduct of Matriculation Examinations for admissions into Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education, and that an investigation was warranted.
“Every year, graduating secondary school leavers and others with prerequisite WAEC, NECO, and other qualifying results apply to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to gain admission into Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education,” he said.
“Students who took the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) are expected to log into the JAMB portal once the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board has released their results.”
“Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma of Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, Anambra State, took the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations and received a score of 362.
On July 2, 2023, JAMB’s Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, issued a public statement accusing Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma of falsifying her UTME results, claiming that she actually achieved 249 rather than the 362 reported.
“Miss. Ejikeme Mmesoma came out to defend herself, claiming that she actually printed the result from the JAMB Buncharitable and that she had been a brilliant child all through her Nursery and Tertiary education, coming first in all the Examinations she had taken prior to the UTME, and thus she posited that she is not capable of manipulating her UTME result.”
“Because glitches can occur at any time when uploading or downloading examination or poll results electronically in Nigeria, there is a need to establish the facts before assigning blame.”
Concerned that Dr. Fabian Benjamin, JAMB’s Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, reported that some of the 2023 UTME candidates are flaunting bogus scores in order to gain an unfair advantage from the public, the accusation must be investigated.”
Contributing to the motion, Hon. Iduma Igariwey of Ebonyi State stated that the investigation will show the truth.
“An investigation should be conducted.” The investigation will establish whether or whether the young lady was deceived. If JAMB had a structural problem, the probe will uncover it so that this does not happen again,” he said.
Similarly, Hon. Tanko Sununu of Kebbi State stated, “If we don’t know the security of the result that is going to be issue, then, it’s a serious issue.”
Hon. Ademorin Kuye of Lagos State, for his part, warned that the candidate’s innocence should be presumed until the investigation was completed.
“I’d want to issue a warning regarding our remarks on this floor. As legislators with the authority to probe all branches of government, we must presume the girl’s innocence. We must suppose or assume that JAMB behaved in accordance with the statute creating them, and then the ad hoc committee will investigate all of the facts and make a conclusion. “I support the motion,” he stated.
Similarly, Hon. Ugonna Ozuruigbo of Imo State chastised JAMB for the decision.
“I had the opportunity to see a video in which a lady demonstrated how to manipulate the JAMB website…”JAMB has been reduced to dragging the authenticity of their own result with a student,” he said.
While passing the resolution, the House gave the committee three weeks to complete its work and report back to the House for further legislative action.