The father of Mmesoma Ejikeme, the candidate who was implicated in forging her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result in 2023, has expressed his apologies to the Nigerian public and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Mr. Ejikeme admitted that his 19-year-old daughter did not disclose the truth to him promptly, which left him unaware of the situation.
“My daughter failed to confide in me at the right time,” he revealed in an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). “When I discovered her mistake, I reprimanded her. I told her, ‘Mmesoma, be cautious. You know you are talented and should not tarnish your reputation.'”
“However, I am still appealing to JAMB and Nigerians as a father, asking for her forgiveness,” he added.
False Claim Uncovered
In May, Miss Mmesoma, a student at the Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, Anambra State, claimed to have achieved the highest score of 362 out of 400 in the UTME.
Her assertion gained attention, and many praised her for this apparent accomplishment.
Nevertheless, JAMB later accused her of manipulating her UTME result and inflating her score from 249 to 362. Despite the accusation, the candidate insisted that 362 was the score she received from both the JAMB portal and the SMS notification she received from the examination body.
Subsequently, JAMB invalidated her UTME result and barred her from taking the test for the next three years.
In a viral video released on Monday, Mmesoma maintained that the controversial score of 362 she claimed was obtained directly from the JAMB website, and the accusations from the examination body had left her traumatized.
This controversy prompted numerous Nigerians to call for an independent investigation into the matter.
As a result, the Anambra State Government established an eight-member panel of inquiry, headed by Professor Nkemdili Nnonyelu, which confirmed that Mmesoma had indeed forged the score of 362, as initially stated by JAMB.
In response to the findings, Mr. Ejikeme acknowledged that his daughter, Mmesoma, initially deceived him when questioned about the disputed UTME score.
“My daughter did not come clean with me at the beginning. She didn’t,” Mr. Ejikeme disclosed in an interview with the Nigeria Television Authority on Saturday.
“When I realized her mistake, I reprimanded her severely for engaging in such behavior,” he added.
Mr. Ejikeme emphasized that he continues to apologize to JAMB and Nigerians, seeking their forgiveness. As a father, he expressed his perspective on the matter.