In a recent development surrounding the ongoing JAMB result forgery allegation, renowned human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Barrister Femi Falana (SAN), has raised concerns regarding the public trial of Miss Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma.
According to Barrister Falana, the public trial of Miss Mmesoma, along with the widespread display of her photograph, violates the constitutional provision stated in section 36 (4), which exempts children from such proceedings in Nigerian courts. He further questions the motives behind subjecting the young girl to public scrutiny, stating that media parades and trials are encouraged by the neocolonial state.
Barrister Falana said, “By virtue of section 36 (4) of the Constitution, children are exempted from public trial in Nigerian courts. So why is the girl subjected to public trial with her photograph displayed all over the place?
Because media parade of criminal suspects and media trial of citizens are encouraged by the neocolonial state.”
He added that, “It was the Anambra State Committee for Education who suspected that Ejikeme’s result was forged. Instead of replying to the letter confirming the forgery, JAMB engaged in the media trial of the girl. And without issuing her a query and thereby giving her fair hearing, JAMB has imposed a 3-year ban on her.”
Adding to the conversation, social commentator Mr. Adeola Soetan expressed dissatisfaction with the three-year suspension imposed on Miss Mmesoma by JAMB, despite ongoing investigations into the alleged forgery. Soetan argues that no court of law has indicted the accused, echoing a defense principle used by Nigeria’s former Minister of Labour, Mr. Festus Keyamo in refuting the criminal allegations leveled against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Thus, Mr. Soetan questions why JAMB is already administering punishment when the matter is yet to be concluded, suggesting that JAMB should not act as the accuser, prosecutor, and judge in a criminal case that has gained international attention.
He said, “The alleged young exam fraudster has not being indicted by any court of law (using Keyamo’s principle in defence of Tinubu) which is legally correct, so why is JAMB already punishing the girl with 3 yrs suspension when investigations are still on in such a serious criminal matter?
“Jamb can’t be the accuser, prosecutor & judge in a criminal matter that has become a global embarrassment. JAMB should have gone ahead to prosecute her immediately if it’s sure of its fact and doesn’t have some fraudulent exam malpractice cartel in its fold.”
The controversy surrounding Mmesoma’s UTME result began when JAMB declared that her 362 score in the recent test was forged. Accusing her of using an undisclosed software to manipulate the result, the announcement sparked widespread skepticism among concerned citizens, igniting intense debates online.
In response, Mmesoma vehemently denied the allegations in a viral video released on Monday. Claiming that she printed the result from the JAMB portal, she argued that she had no means of manipulating the score.
The unfolding drama surrounding Miss Mmesoma’s forgery accusation has put JAMB under scrutiny, with citizens questioning the transparency and fairness of the ongoing investigation. The case has become a global embarrassment for JAMB, leading many to call for a more impartial and meticulous examination of the evidence before passing judgment and subjecting the accused to punishment.
As the controversy continues to unfold, the public awaits further developments in the case and seeks clarification from JAMB regarding the handling of the matter.