Following the conclusion of a probe into a results forgery claim against Mmesoma Ejikeme, the embattled Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidate, Innoson Vehicles has withdrawn the N3m scholarship it awarded her.
Ejikeme claimed to have scored 362 which would have put her at the top of the year’s best-performing candidates.
In celebration of the supposed feat, Mr Innocent Chukwuma, the founder of the automobile manufacturer based in Nnewi, Anambra announced the scholarship on May 8.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) however vehemently refuted Ejikeme’s claim last Monday, saying her result was manipulated. This prompted the Anambra State Government to set up a committee of inquiry.
The highly anticipated findings of the panel were made public in an eight-page report on Friday, which confirmed that Ejikeme manipulated her result, giving herself a score of 362 as against an actual score of 249.
Innoson Group promptly rescinded its scholarship offer to the 19-year-old on Saturday, in a series of tweets signed by its Head of Corporate Communications and Affairs, Cornel Osigwe.
The auto manufacturer admitted that the findings were deeply disappointing and that Ejikeme’s actions stood in direct contravention of the values the company held dear.
“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,” it said.
“This action is a testament to our unyielding commitment to honesty, integrity, and merit-based recognition.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2023
Innoson Vehicles Withdraws Scholarship from Miss Joy Mmesoma Ejikeme Following UTME Score Manipulation.
— Innoson Vehicles (@innosonvehicles) July 8, 2023
The firm described the development as regrettable, adding that it had “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,” the statement noted.
Innoson further stated that it remained steadfast in its mission to support deserving students, invest in what it described as “the future of our education sector”, and uphold the highest ethical standards.
“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,” it said.