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In a landmark ruling, Justice C.C Ani of Udenu Judicial Division of the Enugu State High Court has completely barred the State Ministry of Education from imposing, demanding or collecting fees for basic education examinations in the state.
Justice Ani had given the order while ruling on a motion for an interlocutory injunction which had been sought by the Enugu State Proprietors Association of Private Schools (PAPS).
The plaintiff (PAPS) through its Counsel, Mr JMCC Ogbuka dragged the state government and Ministry of Education to the court presided over by Justice Ani, in a suit numbered 0B/22/2022, challenging the legality of the collection of the fees – “Common Entrance Examination, First School Leaving Certificate Examination, State Uniform Examinations and the Basic Education Certificate Examination.”
Ogbuka argued that the imposition, demand and extortion of various sums of money from basic education class pupils in the state for any of the mentioned examinations is not only unauthorised by any law in the state and therefore illegal, but also contrary to the trenchant provisions of the Compulsory Free Basic Education Act 2004 as well as the Child Rights Acts 2003 which are extant laws made by the National Assembly. He had also argued that the Common Entrance Examination, the First School Leaving Certificate Examination and the State Uniform Examination ceased to enjoy the force of Law with the introduction of the 9-3-4 system of education in place of the obsolete 6-3-3-4 system of education under the compulsory free Basic Education Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria as provided under the UBEC Act 2004.
Justice Ani, ruling on the interlocutory injunction, ordered the state government to stop further imposition, demand, or collection by force or extortion of various sums of money from primary 1 to Junior Secondary School 3 classes in all public and private schools in the state pending the determination of the substantive suit.