WAEC NIGERIA ADDRESSES POLITICAL DESPERADOES: STOP DRAGGING OUR INTEGRITY, OFFICIALS IN THE MUD
By Oki Samson, Trek Africa Newspaper
The ongoing furore over the just-concluded elections conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the challenge of the WAEC certificates of some contestants in the tribunals have become a source of concern for the examinations governing body because of the way it is been badmouthed in the media space. This led to a press release yesterday by the Ag. Head of Public Affairs of WAEC Nigeria, Moyosola Adesina.
The press release obtained by Trek Africa Newspaper commenced: ‘Of recent, the Nigerian press has been awash with stories of attempts by WAEC to pervert the course of justice by allegedly “conniving with some highly placed persons whose electoral victories in the last national elections are being challenged in court by their opponents. These reports even alleged that “top WAEC Directors at the Yaba office received huge sums of money in several tranches to conceal and doctor information on WAEC records concerning some defendants.” The reports went on to say that WAEC has been complicit in denying all litigants access to examination records in proof of their cases in court.” The reports also bogusly claimed that an investigative agency had gone to Ghana and completed investigations while efforts to do so in Nigeria were blocked by some WAEC officials.
We would have ignored all these baseless, mischievous, and malicious allegations, but we have decided to do some clarifications and enlightenment for the benefit of the Nigerian public and for the sake of assessment and education, generally, in Nigeria.’
‘One, WAEC is an international examination body with a clear mandate to conduct examinations in the public interest and award certificates, and it has been doing so since 1952 without any integrity issues. Its certificates are recognised and acceptable all over the world.
Two, WAEC is a legal entity that can sue and be sued. It is a law-abiding organisation with absolute respect for the judiciary. It will, therefore, always appear in court whenever subpoenaed and obey any valid order arising there from.
Third, this is the era of politics. WAEC has been subpoenaed on several occasions to appear in court to confirm the authenticity of WAEC results, certificates, or documents tendered by some litigants, and we have always done so.
Four, for record purposes and the benefit of the Nigerian public, WAEC Ghana has nothing to do with the results of Nigerian candidates, just as Nigeria does not have anything to do with the results of Ghanaian candidates, even though we administer the same international examinations. Therefore, saying that some investigating agency had gone to Ghana and had concluded investigations on a matter, only to be blocked on the same matter in Nigeria, is a lie from the pit of hell. How can the Ghana office, or even the headquarters, speak on a matter they know nothing about? No member country has other member countries’ results, records, and documents.
Five, WAEC has always and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and security agencies whenever it is called upon to provide documents and records to aid their investigations on matters. We do not respond to enquiries by private individuals, non-government agencies, and law firms not authorised by courts. Bona-fide candidates’ requests are also attended to.
Six, candidate’s photocard is only used for Private Candidates Examinations, and not for School Candidates Examinations. Asking for it for a School Candidates Examination that was written in May/June 1981 was only borne out of ignorance and, therefore, tantamount to asking for the impossible.
Seven, the Council has the legal right to ask for a variation of court orders when it considers particular demands impossible. We speak no more on that, but WAEC has and will always explain why such requests cannot be granted to petitioners.
Eight, some people tend to separate results from certificates, whereas they bear the same records and convey the same information. A certificate represents a candidate’s result in a given format. Therefore, a candidate can have a result without a certificate due to loss, destruction by fire, termites, flood, theft, etc. But a candidate can never have a certificate without a result. Once a candidate loses his/her certificate, he/she can only request Confirmation of Result or Attestation of Result (AoR). The AoR will bear the current passport photograph of the candidate. Whereas certificates are co-signed by the sitting Registrar and current Chairman of Council, AoR is co-signed by the sitting Registrar and Head of National Office (HNO).’
‘A certificate can only be reprinted when:
1. some relevant pieces of information can still be seen on the damaged or faded one;
2. when the stock of blank certificates for the year in question is still available.
Nine, for record purposes and the avoidance of doubt, there is nothing like a duplicate certificate. Once a candidate collects his/her certificate from the Council (in the case of Private Candidates Examination) or from his/her alma mater (in the case of School Candidates Examination), that is it. Anybody or organisation or agency doubting the authenticity of such a certificate and decides to approach WAEC for authentication must avail WAEC of a copy (photocopy) of the certificate. WAEC can then give the asking agency a ‘Certified True Copy’ once confirmed. In the event of not supplying WAEC with a copy of the certificate that you want it to certify, WAEC can only avail you of a ‘Certified True Copy’ of the Result Listing of the centre where the candidate in question sat the examination. This much WAEC representatives have professionally explained at various courts whenever subpoenaed.’
‘Having gone this far, we wish to state as follows: WAEC is a tested and globally recognised international examination body that has stood the test of time since 1952. Its results and certificates are globally recognised and acceptable, just like those of other similar international examining bodies. The mandate of WAEC is to conduct examinations and award certificates to deserving candidates. It is a-political and can never be involved in any political persuasion. It is a no-respecter of positions or personalities. Anybody that sits or sat WAEC examinations is simply referred to as candidate.’
‘WAEC will never be intimidated into doing the unethical. It is guided by the principles of professionalism and integrity. It is, therefore, laughable and insulting to say that WAEC officials collected bribes to pervert the course of justice. We shall always say the truth, no matter whose ox is gored! We advise the media to be professional in their reportage and allow WAEC to concentrate on the execution of its mandate. We must guide against the bastardisation of assessment and the destruction of education in the country. When people who are not in charge of examinations and, therefore, do not have the expertise and records of relevant documents and information try to hijack the mandate of a time-tested organisation, it portends danger, and the country can only be the worse for it.
WAEC deserves accolades for holding on as a colossus for the past 71 years. Those who query the integrity of WAEC are desperadoes who simply want things in their favour at all costs. And sadly enough, these same people are proud holders of WAEC certificates! Please, let WAEC be.’