The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has alerted the public of an attempt to discredit the 71-year-old examination body.
It said an allegation that it was frustrating efforts to investigate its results or certificates presented for elections by politicians is unfounded.
In a statement by its acting Head of Public Affairs, Moyosola Adesina, WAEC said it is guided by the principles of professionalism, and vowed not to be “intimidated into doing the unethical.”
WAEC alleged that there had been publications in the media against it and that some of its unnamed officials have been accused of taking bribes to obstruct investigations into results or certificates presented by politicians.
Meanwhile, a recent report by Sahara Reporters had alleged unnamed WAEC officials in Nigeria and Ghana of sabotaging the International Police (INTERPOL’s) efforts at investigating the WAEC records of the new Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno.
“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,” Mrs Adesina said in a statement, adding: “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.”
WAEC denied the allegations and described them as “baseless, mischievous, and malicious,” even as it argued that it has been subpoenaed on several occasions by law courts and that it has always responded and provided all requested documents.
“WAEC is a legal entity that can sue and be sued. It is a law-abiding organisation with absolute respect for the judiciary. 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,” he said.
The statement further added that WAEC offices in Ghana and Nigeria operate independently.
The statement further said: “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.”
It read, “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.”
It explained that the mandate of WAEC was to conduct examinations and award certificates to deserving candidates, saying it was a-political and could 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.”
Respect for law
She said WAEC 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,” she added.
Mrs Adesina added that the body 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,” she said.
She also clarified the difference between certificates and results.
According to her the result is the grades of a candidate, while the certificate is a statement containing the same records but “in a given format”.
She said a candidate can have a result without a certificate due to loss, destruction or theft. But a candidate can never have a certificate without a result, she added.
“Some people tend to separate results from certificates, whereas they bear the same records and convey the same information,” she said. “A certificate represents a candidate’s result in a given format.”