LEDAP Seeks Court To Abolish Post -JAMB Test

Pix Courtesy : icirnigeria.org

Pix Courtesy : icirnigeria.org

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking for an order that POST-UTME tests conducted by universities, polytechnics and colleges before admitting students are illegal and should be abolished.
In a suit filed recently against Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB)and National Universities Commission(NUC) the group claims that there is no law authorizing the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges to subject candidates to a second screening or test after the UTME examination by JAMB.
The group also claims that the POST-UTME tests have become a source of boldface corruption in the universities, polytechnics and colleges. lecturers and admission officials charge candidates huge sums of money using the Post-UTME as smoke screen.
In the suit filed by Mr. Chino Edmund Obiagwu, lead counsel for LEDAP, the group seeks the following reliefs:

1. A declaration that only the 1st Defendant (JAMB) has the statutory powers to conduct matriculation examinations for admission into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria.
2. A declaration that the imposition and conduct of Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) by universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria for candidates seeking admission into their institutions is illegal and unlawful.
3. A declaration that the 2nd and 3rd Defendants (NUC and Federal Ministry of Education) have no powers howsoever to allow or direct universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria to further screen or conduct admission tests in violation of Joint Matriculation Board, Act.
4. An order of perpetual injunction restraining all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria from further imposition or conduct of Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) or any other form of admission screening test in Nigeria.
The grounds upon which the reliefs are sought are:
1,The 1st Defendant is the only statutory body with powers to exercise general control of the conduct of matriculation examinations leading to admissions into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria.
2.The Matriculation examination conducted by the 1st Defendant is the only test required by law under section 5(1) and (2) of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board Act, for admission of candidates into all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria. The Act provides that:
5 (1) notwithstanding the provisions of any other enactment, the Board shall be responsible for-
a) The general control of the conduct of matriculation examination for admissions into all universities, polytechnics (by whatever name called) and colleges of education (by whatever name called) in Nigeria.
(b) The appointment of examiners, moderators, investigators, members of subject panels and committees and other persons with respect to matriculation examinations and any other matter incidental thereto or connected therewith;
(c) The placement of suitable qualified candidates in the tertiary institutions having taken into account-
(i) The vacancies available in each tertiary institution;
(ii) The guidelines approved for each tertiary institution by its proprietor or other competent authority;
(iii) The preferences expressed or otherwise indicated by candidates for certain tertiary an courses; and
(iv) Such other matters as the Board may be directed by the Minister to consider or the Board itself may consider appropriate in the circumstance
(d) The collection and dissemination of information on all matters relating to admissions into tertiary institutions or to any other matter relevant to the discharge of the functions conferred on it under or pursuant to this Act.
(e) The carrying out of such other activities as are necessary or expedient for full discharge of all or any of functions conferred on it under or pursuant to this Act.
(2) For the avoidance of doubt, the Board shall be responsible for determining matriculation requirements and conducting examinations leading to undergraduate admissions and also for admissions to National Diploma and the Nigerian Certificate in Education courses, but shall not be responsible for examinations or any other selective process for postgraduate courses and any other courses offered by the tertiary institutions.
3. There is no other enactment enabling universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria to further screen or conduct post unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) or any other admission test in addition to matriculation examination conducted by the 1stDefendant.
4. The 2nd Defendant directed all Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria to further screen and conduct examination for candidates recommended to them for admission by the 1st Defendant contrary to the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) Act.
5. And since 2005 all universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria have been conducting admission tests or screening for candidates seeking admission into their institutions in violation of section 5 (1) and (2) of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board Act.
6. The Defendants have responsibility to ensure compliance with the JAMB Act and by allowing or directing all universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to impose or conduct Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) in violation of all the above provisions of the JAMB Act, they have acted unlawfully.. as a result, the plaintiff and all qualified Nigerians are being denied admission by unlawful means.
7. This Honourable Court has the power to compel the Defendants to coply with the above law and to restrain them from further imposition or conduct of Post Unified tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) or any other screening test for admission in Nigeria.
8. The Plaintiff being a duly registered organization under the laws of Nigeria with registered mandate to promote good governance, have the legal right to bring this action to demand that all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria stop the unlawful Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination as only the 1st Defendant is empowered to conduct matriculation examination in Nigeria.
Commenting on the suit, Obiagwu said that LEDAP is currently pursuing a long line of cases in court to address the widespread corruption and declining standards in the education and health sectors and hopeful the court as the last hope for the common man will come to the rescue.
No date has been fixed for hearing.