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Monday, July 22, 2024

Innoson Vows to Probe Fake JAMB Top Scorer He Awarded ₦3m Scholarship


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Anambra-born billionaire industrialist and Founder of Innoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, has revealed what he would do about the university scholarship he awarded to a 16-year-old girl, Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme, as the highest scorer in the 2023 Unified Matriculation Tertiary Examination (UMTE), only to discover few weeks after that her results were fake.

Recall that Mmesoma recently became a celebrity after her 362 UTME score went viral as the overall best scorer in the 2023 UTME examination. This also endeared her to many positive and good-spirited individuals who congratulated and appreciated her in one way or the other, including the Founder of Innoson Motors, Chief Chukwuma who awarded her a 3 million naira university scholarship, a money he immediately paid into a dedicated account.

However, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which conducts the UTME, on Sunday, declared Mmesoma’s 362 UTME score as fake, and revealed that her score was manually inflated, as her original score was 249. JAMB also announced the immediate withdrawal of Mmesoma’s UTME score.

Reacting to the development, Chief Chukwuma (Innoson) described the revelation as very unfortunate, saying that he was earlier excited when he heard that the young girl topped in the UMTE especially because he found out that she studied in a public school and not a private school.

He said, “When I was told that a student of a public school recorded the highest score in the JAMB examination, I sent for the principal of the school and the principal confirmed to me that it was true that the girl scored the mark.

“I said to myself that such a brilliant girl if properly educated will be beneficial to our country and the world at large, so I decided to award her scholarship so that nothing will stop her from attaining a University education.

“When awarded her the scholarship, I deposited ₦3,000,000 in a dedicated bank account and told the principal that the money is strictly meant for Mmesoma’s education in the university; that any time she needs to pay any fee in the school, they will let me know so that I will sign for withdrawal of money from the account. I made the arrangement so that nobody, including the girl’s parents can divert the money to another thing,” Chief Chukwuma stated.

On what he would do next about the scholarship he awarded to Mmesoma, the Innoson Boss said he would set up an investigation team to find out if it was somebody else that manipulated and inflated Mmesoma’s result for her without her consent or that she deliberately faked the result to deceive people that she is a brilliant student.

“The little girl I saw looked so innocent that I can’t believe that she can manipulate her score.

“If I find out that she deliberately faked her result, I will cancel the scholarship because I can’t encourage a criminal; such person cannot be useful to the society.

“But if I find out that she didn’t have a hand in the manipulation; that the score was given to her in error or that someone manipulated the result for her without her knowing, I will not cancel the scholarship. So, I will make inquiry to find out what actually happened.

“I didn’t know the girl before. I heard that she hails from Enugu State but studied in a public school in Anambra State, so my interest is to make sure that I support her to realise her potential in education and be useful to our nation, that is all. And to encourage other younger ones to take their education very seriously.”

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