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UTME fraud: I regret all my actions – Ejikeme, Mmesoma’s father




From Eze Nwabueze, Onitsha

Romanus Ejikeme, the father of Mmesoma Ejikeme, who has been indicted over the manipulation of her University and Tertiary Matriculation Examination result, has said he regrets supporting his daughter in her claims that she scored 362 in JAMB instead of 249.

Ejikeme said his daughter misrepresented the real facts behind the controversy without opening up to him on time.

He stated these following the release of the findings of the panel of inquiry set up by the Anambra State government which revealed that Mmesoma manipulated her UTME result, where she actually scored 249 as against the 362 she paraded.

The eight-member panel of inquiry set up by the Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to investigate the controversy between Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Mmesoma over the candidate’s UTME score.

Reacting to the report in a telephone chat yesterday, Ejikeme, who tendered unreserved apologies to Nigerians and JAMB, admitted that his daughter lied.

He said: “When I realised what she did, I regretted all my earlier actions on this matter. I apologise to Nigerians and JAMB. I still beg JAMB and Nigerians to pardon her.

“We are not considering any legal action. We have handed the matter over to God. We had never thought of taking JAMB to court over the matter but we would leave the matter to God because He is the only person that can show mercy.

“It was very shocking and devastating to us. We were not expecting such news because we never suspected any foul play as far as the result presented by Mmesoma is concerned, so the news jolted us and everybody around us.

“Since the controversy started, I received over 500 calls in one hour. A lot of people have been visiting us, even press men and some human rights groups. Any one of them that came always came with a camera and they always videod my daughter. So, they were the ones that did the video for her. We can only plead for JAMB to temper justice with mercy.

“Mmesoma would have completed her secondary education before this time, but we had issues of accommodation and relocation and in the process, she missed about two years.

“We were formerly living in Ogbunike before fighting erupted in that community and we had to move to Asaba in 2012. We had yet to settle down at Asaba before the 2012 flooding occurred where the building we were living in was submerged by flood.

“And for about two years or so, my children were not enrolled in school during the period because we did not settle down as we were battling with the flood. After this, we had to move again to Oba, where she was enrolled at a government school, where she also maintained her top position. We moved to Nnewi three years ago from Oba, where she enrolled at Anglican Girls Secondary School.”

Meanwhile, Innoson Group said it has withdrawn the scholarship it earlier awarded to Mmesoma following her indictment over the manipulation of her University and Tertiary Matriculation Examination score.

Chairman of Innoson group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma in a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications & Affairs, Cornel Osigwe, yesterday, said the move is in line with the company’s principles and response to the confirmed findings by a panel of enquiry set up by the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.

It said: “In recent days, we have been involved in the process of investigating allegations surrounding the 2023 UTME examination results of one of our scholarship recipients, Miss Joy Mmesoma Ejikeme.

“It was reported initially that Mmesoma scored exceptionally high in the exam, a feat that led to her being awarded a scholarship by our company.

“However, subsequent reports of discrepancies in her UTME score led us to seek clarification from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and to allow her to voice her stance, we engaged in direct dialogue with Miss Mmesoma.

“Further to this, a committee set up by the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, carried out a thorough independent investigation into this matter.”

The organisation said findings from the rigorous investigation have now confirmed that Mmesoma manipulated her UTME results.

It added that the conclusion is deeply disappointing and stands in direct contravention of the values it holds dear at Innoson Vehicles, particularly those that underscore its scholarship program.

“We acknowledge that this development is regrettable, and it has undoubtedly caused dismay among those who stood by Miss Joy, including her school principal and other well-meaning supporters. However, it is crucial to maintain the integrity of our scholarship program and the values it represents.

“Innoson Vehicles remains steadfast in its mission to support deserving students, invest in the future of our education sector, and uphold the highest ethical standards.

“We have always been deeply committed to advancing educational excellence and upholding academic integrity through our scholarship program. We believe in rewarding exceptional students who display not just academic prowess but also embody the values of honesty, transparency, and respect for the processes that govern our educational system.

“We extend our appreciation to the public, JAMB, the Anambra State Governor’s committee, and all those who have shown understanding and support during this challenging situation. We remain committed to fostering educational excellence in Nigeria,” the statement added.

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Many Nigerians will suffer heart attack by Tinubu’s details, sneers Atiku




  • Protect me from Atiku’s hounding, President pleads with US court

If the vibes from the camp of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are anything to go by, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (PBAT) may well be wasting his time trying to conceal his academic records at the Chicago State University (CSU) from the public.

This is beause there are indications that the details of those records are already in the hands of the PDP candidate’s camp.

Speaking yesterday (Monday, September 25, 2023) at a Zoom conference hosted by a London-based psychologist, Gold Emmanuel, Pedro Obaseki, Director of Research and Strategy of the Atiku/Okowa 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, while alleging that the claim by PBAT that the release of his records to the public would cause him personal pain was because the disputed certificate actually belonged to a woman, said should the CSU finally come around to making Tinubu’s academic records public, it would only be confirming what the Atiku camp already knew, namely, that the Tinubu who graduated from the institution in the late 70’s was not PBAT!

This latest development came on the heels of PBAT’s appeal, also yesterday (Monday, September 25) to a United States District Judge, Nancy Maldonado, to order the CSU to protect his privileged information such as admission records, transcripts and gender and release only his certificate to the legal team of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

Said Obaseki: “Nigerians will be more demoralised that the owner of the certificate that President Tinubu is parading is a woman. We already know it as a fact, but we are seeking the release of the documents officially by CSU. Wetin the man dey hide, we already have it. The outcome will give many Nigerians more heart attacks.”

Arguing through Christopher Carmichael, his lawyer, in response to Atiku securing an order from a US magistrate, Jeffrey Gilbert, for CSU to make Tinubu’s academic records available to his legal team, the Nigerian President stated that “the most critical fact has already been clearly and unequivocally established” by the CSU and that Atiku had got all he needed in the matter.

Atiku had, through Angela Liu, his own lawyer, sought Tinubu’s records, including his admission and acceptance at CSU, dates of attendance, degrees, awards and honours attained by the former Governor of Lagos State at the university, among others.

Tinubu had approached Maldonado, shortly after the ruling of the lower court to seek extension of time, specifically praying for the order to be delayed till Monday, to enable its review by a district judge, which was granted.

In his fresh argument, the President pleaded with Maldonado to release only the certificate and preclude Tinubu’s other privileged records, saying: “The most critical fact has already been clearly and unequivocally established by Chicago State University: Intervenor was awarded the degree as he stated. This point is irrelevant to the applicant because he is not seeking anything more than opposition research on a political opponent.

“The magistrate judge clearly erred in granting the application for discovery and concluding that Chicago State University must respond to the document and deposition subpoenas. That conclusion should be set aside and the application should be denied because the information sought cannot be used and therefore is not ‘for use’ in the foreign proceedings.

“Even if a narrow subset of information can be considered ‘for use’ in the foreign proceeding, that is limited to the diploma submitted to INEC. Fishing expeditions into other documents and more document productions must be precluded.”

The development is coming two days after the self-acclaimed classmate of the President, Olajide Adeniji, testified in the US district court that he knows and contested against Tinubu as President of the Accounting Society Club at the Department of Business Admin/Accounting in the same Chicago State University.

In the oath he took on September 23 at the Northern District of Illinois Court in Chicago, Adeniji swore that he was familiar with the same Tinubu who is the current President of Nigeria.

The PUNCH, however reports that Atiku is insisting that all the details, quoting his spokesman, Phrank Shaibu, as saying: “We are aware Tinubu’s counsel filed a motion on Monday praying the US court to order Chicago State University to release only the president’s certificate.

“We are wondering why a man will demand they conceal his gender and other little details in his academic transcript. But we (Atiku’s legal team) will respond to them in the next 48 hours. The judgment will be entered by Wednesday or Thursday.”

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Law & Order

Eminent jurist, C.C Nweze for burial October 20




The remains of eminent jurist and Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (JSCN), the late Justice Centus Chima (C.C) Nweze, will be laid to rest on October 20, 2023 at his country home at Umuezejor, Obollor-Afor, Udenu LGA of Enugu, the family has announced.

Nweze, a Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR), died on July 30 this year after a brief illness. He was 64 (1958-2023).

Fifth most senior Justice of the Supreme Court until his death, Nweze, who bagged all his degrees – from bachelors to Ph.D – from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), was also the only JSC from the South East, after the retirement of Justice Mary Odili, who hails from Mbaise in Imo State but is married to former Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State.

He was called to the bar in 1984.

As a Justice of the Supreme Court (JSC), Nweze became famous for his minority judgment in the Imo State Governorship Election Petition between Governor Hope Uzodinma and former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, wherein he asked the Supreme Court to set aside the January 14, 2020 ruling of the Court that removed Emeka Ihedioha from office, describing it as a nullity and in bad faith.

He also nullified the declaration of Uzodinma as Governor on account of “wrong declaration”, and held that Uzodinma misled the court into an unjust conclusion with the unverified votes in 388 polling units.

“This decision of the Supreme Court will continue to haunt our electoral jurisprudence for a long time to come,” Nweze had surmised.

Lawyers who spoke on Nweze described his passing as a huge loss not only to the Supreme Court of Nigeria but also “to the entire fabric of the judiciary, the Nigerian legal community and, indeed, globally, leaving many of his admirers in utter shock,” as Hon. Mela Audu Nunghe, SAN, put it.

“He was quintessential in academia, a multi-lingual Orator, lecturer, private practitioner , Chairman BOT of my own set NLS84, amiable , hardworking, brilliant and humorous yet very firm to his judicial oath,” Nunghe declared, adding that Nweze was “a rare breed of his generation whose unequaled contributions, especially in the law of evidence and jurisprudence, we will surely miss.”

“We of the NLS84 set are proud of him in many respects especially as he stood out as the very first amongst us to make it to the Apex Court at the earliest opportunity,” Nunghe stressed.

According to the funeral arrangement released by the family, Nweze’s burial rites will commence on Thursday, October 10, at 10 am with a valedictory session at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja, followed by a requiem Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish, Maitama, Abuja, at 4pm the same day.

On Friday, October 13, 2023, there will a requiem Mass at the Christ the King Parish, GRA, Enugu, at 5pm, the release added, even as the obsequies will continue on Tuesday, October 17, with a ‘Night of Tributes’ at Amadeo Event Centre, Ebeano Tunnel Road, beside Elim Plaza, Enugu.

According to the release signed by Obumneme Nweze, Esq, there will be a vigil mass/wake at the late jurist’s country home at Umuezejor, Obollo-Afor, Udenu LGA, Enugu State on Thursday, October 19, at 5pm, to be followed the following day, Friday, October 20, 2023 by:

A) Burial Mass at 11 am at St. Pius Catholic Church, Umuezejor, Obollo-Afor, Udenu LGA, Enugu State

B) Internment immediately after Mass at his compound, Umuezejor, Obollo-Afor and

C) Funeral ceremony after internment at Community Secondary School, Obollo-Afor and

D) More condolences on Saturday (the following day), October 21.

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Obi-Datti Media Office thumbs-up Obi/Labour Party (LP) legal team over appeal, summarises 51 grounds on which Obi/LP want PEPC judgment overturned




The Obi-Datti Media Office has given a summary of the 51 grounds on which Mr. Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25, 2023 presidential election and his Party, the LP have asked the Supreme Court to quash the September 6 ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) upholding the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president.

In a statement issued earlier today (Wednesday, September 20, 2023), the Media Office noted that although the appeal filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) is based on 51 grounds of appeal, it had become necessary, for clarity purposes, to provide a summary of the major complaints raised against the judgment by the Obi/Labour Party (LP) team.

According  to the statement, the PEPC, the Media Office said, was, among others, A) Wrong when it struck out the witness statements on oath of 10 out of the 13 witnesses called by the Petitioners on the ground that the statements were filed after the expiration of the period of 21 days prescribed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for them to file the statements.

“They (Obi/LP) complain that the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal which the PEPC cited in support of the decision do not apply to the facts of this case; that the Court of Appeal, in coming to the above decision, refused to follow its previous decisions in many cases, which were cited and submitted to it, that a subpoenaed witness need not file his statement alongside the petition and any such statement filed after the time allowed for filing the Petition is competent and valid. (See Grounds 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of the Notice of Appeal).

B) The PEPC was also wrong when it struck out the witness statements on oath of the Petitioners’ witnesses (i.e. PW4, PW7, and PW8 who were Expert Witnesses) on the ground that they were persons interested in the outcome of the Petition. They failed to consider and appreciate the decisions of the Supreme Court to the effect that a person interested means “a person who has a pecuniary or other material interest in the result of the proceedings – a person whose interest is affected by the result of the proceedings, and therefore, would have a temptation to pervert the truth to serve his personal or private ends”. The PEPC failed to take into account that in this case, there is no evidence on record in the instant case that any of the Petitioners’ witnesses had any pecuniary or material interest in the result of the proceedings.

C) It is also their complaint here that by the decisions of the Supreme Court, a person interested does not mean “an interest in the sense of intellectual observation or an interest purely to the same party. It means an interest in the legal sense which imports something to be gained or lost”. That the interest of PW4, PW7, and PW8 in relation to the documentary evidence produced by them, on subpoena, was merely products of intellectual exercise. The PEPC ought not to have struck out their evidence on this ground. (See Ground 15 of the Notice of Appeal)

D) The PEPC was wrong when it decided that the electronic transmission of results with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) from the polling units to the IReV is not mandatory under the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, and that INEC has a discretion whether or not to use BVAS to upload and transmit the results.  In coming to this conclusion, the PEPC relied on the decision of the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1454/2022 and refused and ignored the recent decision of the Supreme Court in OYETOLA v. INEC (2023) LPELR-60392 (SC) that the use of BVAs to scan and transmit the results of the election from the polling units to the IReV is “part of the election process” under the new legal regime governed by the Electoral Act, 2022. The PEPC also ignored the decision of the Supreme Court in OYETOLA’s case that “the Regulations provide for the BVAS to be used to scan the complete result in Form EC8A and transmit or upload the scanned copy of the polling unit result to the Collation System and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV)….”

E) It is their further complaint that contrary to the decision of the PEPC, the use of BVAS to transmit the election results to IReV under the present legal regime governed by the Electoral Act 2022 is mandatory.  They contend (that) in coming to the above decision, the PEPC overlooked the provisions of Paragraph 2.9.0 on page 36 of the Manual for Election Officials, wherein INEC stated the mischief the introduction of electronic transmission of results was meant to remedy under the new Electoral Act 2022 under the sub-heading “Electronic transmission/upload of the election result and publishing to INEC Result Viewing (IREV) Portal”, wherein INEC explained that: “One of the problems noticed in the electoral process is the irregularities that take place between the Polling Units (PUS) after the announcement of results and the point of result collation. Sometimes results are hijacked, exchanged, or even destroyed at the PU, or on the way to the Collation Centers.”

F) The PEPC also failed to consider that in the same Manual and Guidelines, INEC stated that “it becomes necessary to apply technology to transmit the data from the Polling Units such that the results are collated up to the point of result declaration. The real-time publishing of polling unit-level results on the IREV Portal and transmission of results using the BVAS demonstrates INEC’s commitment to transparency in results management.”

G) They further complain that since INEC itself had stated in the same paragraph 2.9.0 of the Manual for Election Officials that this commitment is backed by Sections 47(2), 60(1, 2 & 5), 64(4)(a & b) and 64(5) of the Electoral Act 2022, the PEPC was wrong when it held that the provisions of the Manual on electronic transmission of results conflict with the Electoral Act. They make the case that since the provisions of the Manual complement the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 in this respect, there is no conflict between the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Guidelines and Regulations and (therefore that) the issue of the Electoral Act superseding or prevailing over the Guidelines does not arise in the circumstance. (See Grounds 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 29, 30, 31, and 32 of the Notice of Appeal)

H) The PEPC was wrong when it refused to hold that since INEC had represented and assured the whole world in the exhibits and video recordings tendered by the Petitioners in Court that it [INEC] was going to use the BVAS to transmit the results of the election from the polling units to the IReV electronically, as mandated by the Electoral Act 2022, INEC could not turn around in this case to now argue that it had discretion on whether to use the BVAS or not.

I) The decision of the PEPC makes a complete “nonsense” of the chief objectives of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. Contrary to the decision of the PEPC, “it is clear from the pleadings and evidence adduced that the failure of the 1st Respondent to upload and transmit the results of the elections from the polling unit to IReV as mandated by law substantially affected the outcome of the election, in that the credibility, integrity, and transparency of the entire election process were compromised and could not be guaranteed.” (Grounds 25 and 28 of the Notice of Appeal)

J) The PEPC was wrong when it declined jurisdiction to determine the issue of disqualification of the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) based on the alleged double-nomination of his Vice-President. The PEPC ignored and refused to follow its previous decisions wherein it had relied on extant decisions of the Supreme Court and emphatically held that the issue of double-nomination as raised by the Appellants herein is an issue of qualification that can comfortably be brought and ventilated under 138(1)(a) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), now Section 134(1)(a) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

K) The PEPC was wrong when it concluded that the Petitioners did not prove their case of double-nomination of the Vice-President (Kashim Shettima) because the law and evidence tendered in the Court did not support that conclusion. (See Grounds 33, 34 and 35 of the Notice of Appeal)

L) The PEPC misapplied the provisions of Section 137(1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) when it reasoned and concluded that the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) was not disqualified from contesting the Presidential Election based on the forfeiture orders made against him by the US District Court. The PEPC wrongly read the provisions of Section 137(1)(e) of the Constitution (which is a different and independent provision) together with Section 137(1)(d) of the Constitution and concluded that there is no evidence that the 2nd Respondent had been arrested, charged and convicted by a Court of Law to warrant his disqualification from contesting the election.

M) They complain that the interpretation given by the PEPC is contrary to settled principles of interpretation and the abundant binding case law cited and commended to it on the meanings of “fine” and “forfeiture”. The Court below failed to give a broad, liberal, and purposive interpretation to Section 137(1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as laid down and enjoined by the Supreme Court in cases too numerous to mention. (See Grounds 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, and 44 of the Notice of Appeal)

N) The PEPC was wrong when it decided that a winner of the Presidential Election does not need to score at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT, Abuja, under Section 134(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). It is complained that the PEPC ought not to have relied on the Preamble to the Constitution to interpret the provision because the provision is clear and unambiguous. The law is that the Preamble in an enactment (including the Constitution) can only be resorted to in order to “clarify any ambiguity in the words used in the enacting part”; and it “cannot be used to give a different meaning to the clear wording of a provision.” They also contended that the PEPC introduced and relied on extraneous matters/considerations in its interpretation of Section 134(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) because the issue before the Court was not whether or not the FCT has a “special status” over other States; or whether or not every citizen of Nigeria has the equality of vote; or whether or not the right of every such citizen to elect their President whose policies are supposed to and will affect all of them equally regardless of which part of the country they reside or live” as erroneously invented by the Court below. (See Grounds 45, 46, 47, 48, and 49 of the Notice of Appeal)

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