Falana flays seizure of debtor states’ results by WAEC
HUMAN rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has condemned the seizure by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) of the results of thousands of candidates who sat for the May/June 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Examination due to the failure of 13 state governments to pay the requisite examination fees.
Falana, in a statement noted that the decision of WAEC to withhold the results was illegal and un-constitutional, averring that it was a gross violation of the fundamental rights of the students and a demonstration of corporate impunity.
Falana stated, “While WAEC is at liberty to adopt legal measures deemed fit to compel the indebted states to fulfill their financial obligations, it ought to be pointed out that the seizure of the results of the affected candidates is illegal and unconstitutional.
The senior lawyer supported his claim with a similar case that was decided against the same exam body by the Court of Appeal in “Miss Roli Tolu Olley v. West African Examination Council (2002) 2 NPILR 1062, the applicant was admitted to the Obafemi Awolowo University on the basis of a result issued by the WAEC. Five years later and while the applicant was in her final year class, WAEC cancelled her result on the ground that she had engaged in examination malpractice.
In annulling the cancellation of the result, Bode Rhodes-Vivour J (as he then was) held that the applicant was not given fair hearing by WAEC. In decrying the action of WAEC the judge said “It would be very strange if after an examination, a party is given a result indicating that he was successful. He gains admission to University and on the eve of his graduation from University he is told in a rather casual manner that the results he used to gain admission has been cancelled. If this is allowed students would live permanently in fear and nothing would be certain anymore, and this would be sad.”