In a twist of narrative, the Innoson Group has countered forgery allegations against Mmesoma Ejikeme, a 16-year-old student from Anambra by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). . She has been accused of inflating her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result and falsely declaring herself as the top scorer for the 2023 exam.
Mmesoma, who attends Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, Anambra State, had proudly announced her purported score of 362 in the UTME, claiming the title of the highest-scoring candidate. In recognition of her achievement, Innocent Chukwuma, the chairman of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Company, had awarded her a N3 million scholarship. The Anambra state government had also planned to honour her as the top scorer.
However, JAMB released a statement on Sunday evening stating that Ejikeme had manually manipulated her UTME result from 249 to 362, using the inflated score to secure the scholarship from Innoson Motors. The board exposed the discrepancy before she could be awarded by the Anambra State Government. According to JAMB, the student had deceived the public and fraudulently obtained the scholarship and other forms of recognition.
In response to JAMB’s claims, the Head of Corporate Communications at Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, called for a thorough investigation into the allegations of certificate forgery against Ejikeme. He emphasised that the student lacked the capability to engage in such fraudulent activities and urged authorities to consider the bigger picture.
Osigwe took to his official Twitter handle, @cornelosigwe, and stated, “The girl I met doesn’t have the brain and capacity to manipulate her result. There is more to this story. A proper investigation needs to be done. Please, let the poor breathe.”
Osigwe further shed light on the situation, highlighting that Ejikeme was regarded as one of the most brilliant students in her school. According to the principal, her parents could not even afford to pay for her West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) exams. He questioned the motives behind manipulating her JAMB score, as it would offer her no advantage. Osigwe pleaded for fairness and compassion for the less privileged student.
The case will now proceed with JAMB prosecuting Ejikeme and withdrawing her original UTME result, as stated by the board. As the controversy unfolds, it remains to be seen how the investigation will unfold and whether additional information will come to light regarding the student’s alleged actions.