Court quashes NOUN graduates’ suit on admission to Law School
A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday quashed a suit by some Law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
They had gone to court following the refusal of the relevant authorities to admit them to the Nigerian Law School, after completing their programme at the NOUN.
Joined in the suit are the Council for Legal Education (CLE), National Universities Commission (NUC), Attorney-General of the Federation and NOUN.
But in his ruling, justice Hilary Oshomah, said programmes run on part-time bases were not strong enough to allow people gain admission into the Nigerian Law School, adding that admission into the legal profession requires rigorous work.
Citing the Legal Education Act 2004, section 1:1, 1:2 and 2:5 and the National Universities Act, the judge said, the bodies have the statutory power to set rules and policies on standards of admission into the Nigerian law school.
He added that powers to admit students into the Law School were intrinsic.
On prayers by the plaintiff that the refusal of the authorities to admit them into the law school was an infringement on their rights, the judge explained that the court could not admit students as admission was guided by rules and policies.
He, therefore, said the reliefs sought by the plaintiff were a misconception and could not be granted by the court and thereby dismissed it.
Counsel to CLE, Mark Agwu, said admission into the law school was not a matter of sympathy or semantics.
“In as much as we appreciate the hardship the students have encountered either through resources and time, the legal profession is highly conservative and it cannot be compelled by law to admit students into the school,” he said.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Prof. Amuda Abiodun, told journalists after the ruling, that although they lost the case, he stressed that they believed in God and also hoped that administratively, the matter could be strengthened.
He expressed hope that the Attorney -General still has power to override the decision of the Council of Legal Education acording to section 4 of the legal Education Act.
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