A Lagos-based lawyer, Osuala Nwagbara has filed a suit against the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and two others, over a proposed plan to publish names of candidates who allegedly cheated in the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted between 2009 and 2019.
Nwagbara in his suit marked FHC/L/CS/980/19, filed before Justice Saliu Saidu of the Lagos Federal High Court, wants the court to stop JAMB and others from the planned probe of the credentials of candidates and declare it unconstitutional.
The lawyer instituted the suit on behalf of UTME candidates of 2009 to 2019 against JAMB, while other respondents are: Federal Minster of Education and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
Nwagbara said the suit was filed pursuant to Section 36 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right Act and the Fundamental Rights Procedure Rules 2009.
The lawyer prayed the court to declare JAMB’s planned move as null and void, illegal, and unconstitutional.
He also want the judge to declare that since JAMB had screened and cleared the candidates who partook in the examinations over the period 2009 to 2019, for university admission cannot now probe their university admission pre-qualification credentials and or take any other steps and or actions that may be injurious to the interest of all such persons.
He also sought for a declaration that JAMB having screened and cleared the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates who partook in the examinations over the period 2009 to 2019, for university admission cannot now publish the names of such persons as person who may have cheated in the university admission pre-qualification examinations and or take any other step and or action that may be injurious to the interest of all such persons.
Nwagbara also prayed the court to restrain the JAMB and other respondents from carrying out their decision or action against the said candidates by way of probing the credentials of UTME candidates from 2009 to 2019.
Furthermore, the lawyer wants the court to make an order nullifying any decision or step already taken in execution of the respondent decision and or action to probe credentials of the UTME candidates from 2009 to 2019 and to publish names of those who may have cheat as same is discriminatory, unconstitutional null and void and infringement of the constitutional right to fair hearing of the said candidates.
However, the third respondent, AGF, has asked the court to dismiss the suit against it.
AGF in urging the court to dismiss the suit against it was contained in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one of its litigation clerks, Friday Zekeri, wherein he stated that the lawyer did not seek its advice or input before instituting the suit.
The deponent averred that he was informed by Elodimuo Ekene, a lawyer in AGF’s office that on September 25, 2019, at about 1200 hours, that the applicants commenced this suit through an application of enforcing their fundamental human rights dated June 17, 2019, and filed the same day.
He stated that after a careful perusal of the Application and supporting Affidavit filed by the Applicants shows that there is no substantive claim whatsoever against the third respondent and that the averments in the applicants’ affidavit are denied and unknown to the third respondent.
He also stated that there was no fact or wrongdoing which have been raised against AGF and that the complaint of the applicants falls under the Statutory and administrative powers /duties of the JAMB.
Meanwhile, Justice Saidu has adjourned till February 12, for the hearing of the matter.