By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—A human rights lawyer based in Awka, Anambra state, Francis Gozie Moneke, has dragged the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, to the Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the state capital, for allegedly extorting and grossly violating the fundamental human rights of JAMB candidates who registered for the 2017 Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME.
In the Suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/74/2017, filed at the court registry, Moneke (plaintiff) said the extortion was perpetrated against the candidates of JAMB (respondents) during the online application process whereby the board imposed several unauthorized levies on the candidates.
In his statement of claim, the plaintiff is seeking a declaration of the court that these extortions and exploitative fees were in violation of the candidates’ rights to dignity of human person guaranteed under Section 34 (1) (a) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 5 of African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification & Enforcement) Act, 1983.
The plaintiff also sought the court declaration that imposition of N2,500 for data correction and another N700 for CBT centre registration on the candidates by the respondents were so extortionate and exploitative that it violated their fundamental human rights.
He further sought a court declaration that the provision of UTME syllabus and other information relevant to the examination only in an internet- enabled computer disc, was discriminative against thousands of the UTME candidates who do not have access to computer and/or internet, thus prevented them from preparing adequately for the examination, which again violated their rights to freedom from discrimination guaranteed under the 1999 constitution.
He therefore prayed the court to grant an order compelling the respondents to refund all the candidates for the 2017 UTME the sum of N700 each and N2,500 each being the exploitative fee paid as CBT Centre registration fee and Data Correction Fee respectively, as well as another N2,000 each as compensation for gross violation of their rights to the dignity of the human person.
He also prayed the court to restrain the respondents henceforth from imposing on prospective candidates the same cumbersome, exploitative and discriminative application procedure prescribed by it for the 2017 UTME application process and for such further orders or other orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.