The National Association of Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has condemned the ban issued to Ejikeme Mmesoma by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
KanyiDaily recalls that JAMB had accused Ejikeme Mmesoma, a student of Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, Anambra State, of inflating her result and announcing herself as the top scorer for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
JAMB spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, said the 16-year-old student, who was widely celebrated for scoring the highest mark of 362 in the UTME, scored 249 in the just-concluded exam.
Benjamin claimed that the pupil tampered with the original result to seek favour from the Nigerian public, noting that the result would be withdrawn while Mmesoma would face prosecution.
Reacting to the allegations in a video, Mmesoma Ejikeme expressed surprise that a result she printed out from the JAMB portal could be termed by the examination board as fake.
The 16-year-old, who lamented that she was traumatized, vehemently denied the allegation made against her by JAMB, saying she is not capable of manipulating her own result.
In a statement on Tuesday, JAMB said it has withdrawn Ejikeme Mmesoma’s 2023 UTME result and also barred her from sitting the Board’s examination for the next three years.”
During an interview with journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, the National Deputy Chairman of NAPTAN, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo expressed strong disapproval of the decision made by JAMB to impose a three-year ban on Miss Ejikeme Mmesoma from participating in the UTME.
Ogunbanjo described JAMB’s decision as hasty, emphasizing that the board failed to conduct adequate due diligence before taking such a drastic action.
“We think JAMB’s decision is hasty. The board should have carried out more due diligence, more discreet investigation before coming up with the ban.
“We are not particularly at home with JAMB’s approach on this whole issue, although it is an unfortunate development,” he said.
Ogunbanjo also expressed discontent with JAMB’s decision to involve the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest the student when investigation had not been concluded.
He urged JAMB to handle the case with care, considering the possibility of hacking since the UTME is a technologically-driven exercise.
“UTME is a technology-driven exercise, so there could be hacking just like any other technology could as well be hacked,” Ogunbanjo said.
However, he acknowledged that the incident served as a valuable lesson, discouraging individuals who may have engaged in or contemplated fraudulent practices to reconsider their actions.
“Students or people, who may have been doing this in the past or planning to have their way through this dubious means, should have a rethink because this issue has served as an eyeopener,” he said.
Meanwhile, the founder of Tatcoin, Gaius Chibueze has offered Mmesoma Ejikeme a scholarship to study up to the master’s level in either the United Kingdom, Canada, or the United States.