By Princely Onyenwe, Abuja
The Imo State House of Assembly (IMHA) has condemned the fine imposed on 266 Secondary Schools in Imo State for alleged malpractice.
On this therefore, the house has invited the WAEC Zonal Coordinator to appear before Imo State House of Assembly for questioning and possible clarifications by the next sitting.
The condemnation followed a Motion on Urgent Public Importance moved by member representing Njaba State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uju Onwudiwe. Moving the motion, which was seconded by Hon. Eddy Obinna of Aboh Mbaise State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uju Onwudiwe, said that the West African Examination Council (WAEC), has imposed a fine of N500.000.00 on 266 Secondary Schools in the State which were said to have engaged in examination malpractice during the last examination exercise.
According to her, not only was the said amount imposed on them as fines, but that the Examination body has also demanded a mandatory payment of another N150,000 for each of the. Schools for the hiring of invigilators as none of the school teachers will be used.
The Chief Sponsor of the motion described the action of the Examination body as unfair and a rip off on Imo people, due to their love for education.
She argued that punishment for examination malpractice should be meted out to the individual offender and not to lump up schools and slam them with fine.
She further noted that since the alleged malpractice was committed, none of the individuals nor schools were made to sign any documents or given a letter only for WAEC to come up with a fine just as the WAEC registration was on going.
She therefore prayed the House to invite the Zonal Coordinator of WAEC and other Principal Officers to interface with the House during Plenary.
Among those who lent their voices to the discussion were Hon. Eddy Obinna of Aboh Mbaise, The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu, who described the motion as emotional and called for open interface with WAEC officials.
Others are the member representing Isiala Mbano State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Chiiji Collins, Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi, Majority Leader and member representing Owerri West State Constituency, member representing Orlu Hon. Okolie and Hon. Dominic Ezerioha, Oru-west State Constituency, who supported his argument against the fine by citing portions of 2004: WAEC Acts.
The Rt Hon. Speaker, Barr Kennedy Chidozie Ibeh, while ruling on the prayers to invite the WAEC Zonal Coordinator and other Principal officers to interface at the plenary, gave more insight on the workings and administrative structure of the West African Examination body, noting that caution must be followed in unearthing the alleged undercut. He fixed April 5 2022, for the interface.
The House also set up Committee on Mines and Solid Minerals with Hon. Micheal Njoku, member representing Ihitte Uboma as Chairman, while Hon Phillip Ejiogu, Owerri North House Member will deputise him. Also in that committee is Hon. Heclus Okoro, member representing Ohaji Egbema.
The House dissolved Committees on Public Utilities, Commerce and Industry.
Hon. Eddy Obinna of Aboh Mbaise refered to a front page publication on LEAD EXPRESS NEWSPAPER of March 22 where Rt. Hon Ngozi Obiefule, one of the suspended members, raised alarm over the missing of Rt. Hon. Arthur Egwim, who is also serving suspension.
In the said publication, she attributed the missing of the House member to the leadership of IMHA who suspended him.
Hon. Eddy Obinna explained that Hon Arthur Egwim,. was not missing but was part of the just concluded APC convention. He asked that the House Rule be applied in the circumstance.
Finally, he was asked to lay the publication on the stable which was referred to Committee on Ethics and Privileges and the house rise.
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