Innoson Vehicles has withdrawn the scholarship awarded to Joy Mmesoma Ejikeme, following the discovery that she forged her 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result and claimed to be the highest scorer.
This was made known in a statement signed by Cornel Osigwe, Head of Corporate Communications & Affairs, Innoson Group, released on Saturday.
The company said its decision to withdraw the scholarship earlier awarded to Mmesoma was informed by the outcome of the investigations of the committee set up by the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, which confirmed that the girl forged her result.
The company said it had offered the scholarship based on the earlier report it got that Mmesoma was the highest scorer in the 2023 UTME.
Mmesoma, a student of Anglican Girls Secondary School, Nnewi, had claimed that she scored 362 in the 2023 UTME but JAMB declared that her original score was 249.
JAMB subsequently imposed sanctions on her by withdrawing her result and banning her from taking UTME for three years.
The controversy it generated prompted Governor Soludo to set up an independent committee to look into what happened. During the committee’s investigation which involved physical interview of the students, JAMB officials and the School principal, Mmesoma orally admitted forging the result.
Innoson Group said the reports of the discrepancies between JAMB and the student made it to seek further clarification on what happened and that since the committee had found that the student was involved in forgery, it does not want to be associated with such.
Part of the statement reads: “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 Miss Joy scored exceptionally high on 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 (JAMB) and to allow her to voice her stance, we engaged in direct dialogue with Miss Joy.
“Further to this, a committee set up by the Anambra State Governor, Dr. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, carried out a thorough independent investigation into this matter.
“The findings from this rigorous investigation have now confirmed that Miss Joy Mmesoma Ejikeme did manipulate her UTME results.
“This conclusion is deeply disappointing and stands in direct contravention of the values we hold dear at Innoson Vehicles, particularly those that underscore our scholarship program.
“In line with these principles and response to the confirmed findings, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw the scholarship awarded to Miss Joy Mmesoma Ejikeme.
“This action is a testament to our unyielding commitment to honesty, integrity, and merit-based recognition.
“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.”
The statement said the company has taken the decision to withdraw the scholarship in order to maintain the integrity and values of the programme that is based on the principle of merit, adding that the Innoson Group has been steadfast in its commitment to advancing the welfare of humanity by way of investing in the future of youths through education.
“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,” it said.
The company extended its appreciation to JAMB, the Anambra State Governor’s committee, for their role in arriving at a logical conclusion of the matter, adding that it remains committed to “fostering educational excellence in Nigeria.”