By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The West African Examination Council WAEC) has arrested at least 20 of its officials in various parts of the country for allegedly aiding and abetting examination malpractice in its ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, for school candidates.
The Head of National Office (HNO) of Council, Mr Patrick Areghan disclosed this on the sidelines of a monitoring exercise he carried out in some schools in Lagos State on Thursday, 8 June, 2023.
Areghan, who said that WAEC has since handed over the culprits to the police for prosecution, vowed that the Council would do everything possible to ensure that their prosecution was followed to a logical conclusion.
“The issue of examination malpractice can no longer be treated with kid gloves. It is no longer business as usual, as it has completely eroded moral and values in our society. It is taking a dangerous dimension, which, if not tackled, will bring our country to its knees.
“Now, since the commencement of this examination, we have deployed our technology, designed to catch examination cheats, and we are happy with the results we have gotten so far.
“For instance, in Ibadan, Oyo, where we have our zonal office, which takes care of Osun, Kwara and Oyo States itself, we made three arrests in a school and for the purpose of confidentiality; I will not mention the name.
“There, a supervisor at a centre, principal and invigilator were all arrested. They were arrested for allegedly snapping and posting the questions to some platforms, thereby aiding and abetting examination malpractices,’’ he said.
“Then, in Maiduguri, a supervisor and principal of a school were both arrested and handed over to the police too.
“In Umuahia, a teacher and a supervisor were arrested in a particular school and they have been handed over to the police.
“In Abeokuta, a school proprietor was the first to be caught at the beginning of this examination on May 8, snapping and posting question papers,” Areghan.
The WAEC official, who described the act as a monumental disgrace, added that the proprietor and a supervisor had since been arrested and also handed over to the police.
According to him, the same situation was also recorded at Osogbo, where a principal, invigilator and chief supervisor were arrested for the same offence.
Areghan said in Kaduna, too, a supervisor and an examination official in a school who were caught in the act were arrested and handed over to the police.
The WAEC official also explained that the school, which was ceded to Kaduna, was supposed to be Kano but was ceded because it was closer to Kaduna.
Areghan, who said that the arrests would continue until the end of the examination, urged candidates not to allow their future to be compromised by persons who did not wish them well by promising to assist them pass their examination through illegal means.
While stating that WAEC’s examinations could never be accessed illegally, the WAEC official claimed that all of the culprits caught in the act may have been paid by the unsuspecting candidates and their parents, promising to assist them pass the examination.