The father of Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme, who was charged by the Joint Administration and Matriculation Board (JAMB) with faking the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), denied intentions to file a lawsuit.
According to Ejikeme Romanus, media allegations that the family had sued JAMB for N20 billion over alleged factual misrepresentation were untrue.
According to reports, Mmesoma requested a court injunction to prevent JAMB and any of its employees from commenting on the allegedly falsified results until further notice.
However, in an interview with The Nation on Tuesday, Ejikeme stated that the family was not considering hiring a lawyer and instead would leave the matter to God, whom he claimed is the only one who can resolve all disputes.
He insisted that his daughter had been exceptionally brilliant from nursery school, stressing that linking such individual to forgery was unfortunate.
According to him: “I’m a commercial motorcyclist but majorly a musician. We moved to Nnewi three years ago from Oba. But my daughter did her primary school in Ogbunike central school where she was toping her class till she moved over to Oba where she still maintained first position.
“When we relocated to Nnewi and had to transfer her to her present school, her teachers and classmates in Oba school were calling her, crying that her absence was affecting the school because she used to represent the school in various competitions.
“The principal even called me requesting to be paying for my daughter’s transport to and from Nnewi to be attending her school. But I declined the offer. That’s to tell you the extent they cherished my daughter due to her extraordinary performance.
“Meanwhile, she doesn’t pride in her performance because it’s not anything to her. Mmesoma has always been a hardworking and studious student who doesn’t joke with her studies. She entered the present school from SS1 after writing her junior WAEC in Oba. Her results are there for anyone to see. It’s a public school.
“The 362 score she got is what she saw in the SMS sent to her by JAMB, after sending her code to the portal. That’s the same score she had been parading with for over two months before this controversy came up.
Describing a deliberate delay by JAMB in releasing the authentic results of the highest scorer, Ejikeme urged the exam body to stop defending itself and tell the whole world the truth.
He added: “I’m surprised that JAMB kept quiet all these while until now they came up with another result. But what I’ve discovered as a father is that JAMB deliberately delayed coming up with the allegations so as to come up with something they would use to defend themselves.
“The new score they’re claiming my daughter got is not her result. It’s unfortunate that the same people that supposed to offer her an award for coming out top are pulling her down.
“My daughter has been weeping all these while and we’ve been consoling her that nothing is too hard for God to do. She’s not happy that her result was not only altered but she’s being falsely accused for what she did not do.
“How can they accuse my daughter of such allegations when she doesn’t work with JAMB? When journalists come to interview her, one of the questions I asked them is does the person you’re interviewing look fraudulent? For me, it’s only a dullard that can engage in such a crime.
“My daughter studies so hard that even when you ask her to go to bed late in the night, she will insist on reading more. Because she wants to study Medicine and Surgery, she rarely sleeps, especially during exams. So after all the stress, someone will say her result was forged.
“On what we intend doing, there’s nothing else we can do than to insist JAMB should tell us the truth. They should stop defending themselves and tell the whole world the truth. Even if my daughter is asked to sit for this exam repeatedly, I’m sure she will still come out best. She’s my daughter. She has never taken second in class.
“Besides, all my children, two girls and boys are all brilliant. You can go and inquire from their teachers if you so wish. Just that we don’t make noise about it, just like I earlier said. Even the Soludo panel setup should go ahead with the investigation. I’m not ready to engage the services of lawyers, let justice be done.
Also speaking, Mrs. Uchekwukwu Edum, Principal of Anglican Girls Secondary School (AGSS), Nnewi, where Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme is studying, expressed surprise at the announcement discrediting her score.
She said the school was still awaiting the outcome of a detailed investigation by the Department of States Services (DSS) when the news of the alleged forgery was broken on Sunday.
She said: “We’ve been at DSS to make statements, and waiting for investigation. I was surprised that no one heard from us, only for JAMB to make an announcement discrediting our student.
“All I can tell you is that we were in school when they (students) were scratching and checking their results. The first person had 295, another person had 265, and so on. We were still on it when Mmesoma came and brought her own result, and it was 362 and we requested that she brings evidence and when she did, we rejoiced with her.
“So, later we heard that there was someone (from another school) who got 360 and that she was the highest, so we had to call the education secretary in the diocese. Our school is a mission school, so we decided there was a need to reach out to the commissioner on this. So the commissioner called JAMB, and they said there was no such thing, and that was confusion number one.”