The Federal Executive Council has approved the amendment to an Act of the West African Examinations Council, part of which will make culprits of examination malpractice to be liable to five-year jail term or N200,000 fine or both.
The Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyat Rufai, announced this in Abuja on Wednesday while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting. He addressed journalists in company with her counterpart in the Health and Environment ministries, Onyebuchi Chukwu and Hadza Mailafia, respectively.
Rufai said the decision of the meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, was to “give effect to the revised convention of WAEC, 2003 in Nigeria.”
She said the Council had subsequently directed the Ministry of Justice to take further necessary action on the subject.
Rufai had recently presented a memo to FEC, seeking its approval for the enactment of an Act to amend the WAEC Act, CAP W4, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004 with the aim of giving effect to the revised convention of WAEC, 2003 in the country.
The 2004 Act, “empowers WAEC to take disciplinary action against those who have committed both the offences and penalties for illegally using examination papers and leakage of examination papers.”
Section 19(1) of the Act reads in part, “Such candidate shall not take or be allowed to take or continue the examination; in addition, he shall be prohibited from taking any examination held or conducted by or on behalf of the Council for a period of two years immediately following upon such contraventions.
“If a candidate aforesaid has already taken any papers at the examination, his result therefrom shall be cancelled.
“In addition, the candidate may be prosecuted and if found guilty, shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N200, 000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
The sub-continental examination body was established in 1952 following the acceptance of the Jeffery Report by the then colonial governments in Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gambia and later joined by Liberia in 1974.