Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, has expressed her support for the sanctions imposed on Mmesoma Ejikeme by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for falsifying her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result. The endorsement follows the findings of the Anambra State Committee of Inquiry, which confirmed that Mmesoma, a student at Anglican Girls Secondary School, Nnewi, had admitted to manipulating her result using her mobile phone.
Amidst the controversy surrounding Mmesoma’s result, with JAMB asserting that she had altered her score from 249 to 362, Ezekwesili had stressed the need for a thorough investigation into the matter. In light of the report from the Anambra State panel, which was endorsed by the Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, and implicated Mmesoma, the former education minister expressed her satisfaction with the fair hearing provided to the student during the process.
As a consequence of her actions, JAMB revoked Mmesoma’s result and imposed a three-year ban on her from taking the examination. In a Twitter post on Saturday, Ezekwesili voiced her support for these sanctions.
“I have just read the report of the Committee set up by Anambra State Government to investigate and report their independent findings on the Mmesoma and JAMB Saga.
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“I am satisfied with the process and findings of their investigation which gave Mmesoma a fair hearing to enable the Committee to gather all facts.
“It was necessary to have independent evidence that the result Mmesoma laid claim to publicly was not only fake but that the forgery was personally orchestrated by her.
“There are usually syndicates at the center of perpetration of exam malpractices in Nigeria but it appears not to be so in Mmesoma’s case from the facts of the Committee’s report.
“Mmesoma’s action has consequences. I therefore support the sanctions imposed by JAMB as a deterrent to all who participate in the systemic exam malpractices within our educational system.” Ezekwesili wrote.
She also recommended sustained counselling for Mmesoma by the family, school and church, saying that she hopes that the lessons of this case will help all pupils, students, parents, guardians and the public at large renew a collective commitment to uphold Exam Integrity in Nigeria as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s Values and Reward System for its children and youth.
“I wish to thank JAMB for their good work and encourage the Registrar and his team to continue with their critical service to our country and people as we all join them to sustain raising of awareness on Exam Integrity,” she added.