The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is once again making headlines, but this time for contentious reasons. The recent release of the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results has sparked a wave of controversy in the past week, leading to widespread doubts about the effectiveness and reliability of the examination board.

This is what happened

On June 24, 2023, during the 2023 policy meeting held in Abuja, JAMB registrar Prof. Ishaq Oloyede announced Umeh Nkechinyere as the top scorer in the 2023 UTME with an aggregate of 360. However, soon after, Mmesoma Ejikeme, an Anglican Girls Secondary School (AGSS) student, claimed she got the highest score with a cumulative mark of 362. 

Many people celebrated this news, and congratulatory messages poured in from around the country for Ejikeme. The founder of Innoson Motors promised her a scholarship worth ₦3 million, and the Anambra state government, where she resides, was set to reward this academic feat before things started taking a different turn. 

The examination body claimed that Ejikeme faked her results on Sunday, July 2, and actually received a score of 249 rather than a 362. By scanning the QR code of the result, Fabian Benjamin, a JAMB spokesperson, says they were able to identify the fake result, and that it belonged to a candidate who took the UTME in 2021 and scored 138. Also, to further confirm the result’s authenticity, her registration number was put through JAMB’s system, which revealed that she allegedly got 249 and not 362, as she claims. 

JAMB maintains its stance that the proclaimed result has been manipulated and attributes the entire situation to syndicates engaged in producing counterfeit UTME results.

Ejikeme stands her ground

In the thick of this, she has dismissed the allegations. In a video online, she says, “I’m the owner of this result.” She went on to provide details about how she had her result printed from JAMB’s portal, “This is what they gave me. This aggregate of 362 is exactly how I printed. But they are now saying that I forged the result, of which I don’t know.”

Her parents, staunch supporters of their daughter, affirm her consistent academic excellence and attribute the current situation to a conspiracy aimed at thwarting her success.

What are the reactions so far?

Unfortunately, this has once again divided many Nigerians along ethnic lines, as some people believe that JAMB has handled the case with undertones of targeted harassment. 

A South-East group called South East Fact Check has expressed concerns over JAMB’s approach to this situation, calling it an “ambush” and believing Mmesoma should be given a fair hearing. Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, also weighed in on this issue and demanded an independent forensic investigation to confirm the result’s authenticity. 

On the other hand, however, some Nigerians believe that this mayhem is due to a technical glitch in JAMB’s system. 

What’s the latest update now?

The Anambra state government has set up a panel, and the Department of State Services (DSS) has also been invited to launch a full investigation into this issue. 

The management of Innoson Motors, which had promised Ejikeme a scholarship, also laid claims in the hope of independent investigations that’d determine if she manipulated her results. The outcome of the report will decide if the scholarship offer will be withdrawn or not. If she’s innocent of the allegations laid against her by JAMB, the company says she still gets to hold on to the opportunity regardless of whether or not she had the highest score.

But for now, JAMB has declared that Ejikeme will be prohibited from taking JAMB examinations for the next three years. 

Despite the intense pressure to address this issue, there are inconsistencies in the media regarding Ejikeme’s age, with some references suggesting she’s a minor. This is why many Nigerians advocate for her to be treated fairly and with respect while criticising the examination body for their hasty declaration, influenced by a media trial. 


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.