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Law School: NOUN graduates lament over degree certificates

…As fresh candidates withdraw applications

Scores of candidates who bagged LLB Degree in Law from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have expressed disappointment over their inability to go into full legal practice as expected, following their ineligibility to attend the mandatory Law School and not being called to the Bar.

Some of the graduating Law students of NOUN spoke with The Daily Times during an exclusive interview at the School’s convocation ground in Abuja on Saturday.

The Daily Times recalls also that the case of non-admission of NOUN law graduates into the Nigerian Law School has been lingering for quite some time because of the demand that certain legislative amendments needed to be made into the act establishing the institution by the National Assembly before the students could be admitted into the school.

Only late last year, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, dismissed a suit by a group of graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria. The graduates had approached the court over an alleged refusal by relevant authorities to grant them admission into the Nigerian Law School.

Justice Hilary Oshomah, who ruled on the matter, held that gaining admission into the Nigerian Law School was tedious, insisting that studies should not be on part-time basis.

Justice Oshomah, who made reference to the Legal Education Act 2004, section 1:1, also pointed out that relevant authorities had the statutory power to put rules and policies in place with a view to setting the standard of admission for students into the Nigerian Law School.

The judge further dismissed the relief sought by the plaintiffs, who claimed that the refusal by the relevant authorities to admit them into the Law school infringed on their rights, adding that the court would not grant the students’ request because admission into the Law School was guided by rules and policies.

The development implies that NOUN will continue to churn out law graduates that will not officially practice, until the necessary instruments are in place for them to be admitted into the law school.

Read Also: NOUN gets first female deputy VC

Another investigation carried out by The Daily Times shows that fresh candidates who intend to study Law at NOUN are withdrawing their applications, as they do not wish to suffer the same fate as graduates who could not practice after completing their programme.

At a Cyber café in the Central Business District of Abuja, an applicant who simply identified herself as Chioma, told the The Daily Times that she is no longer applying for Law, but rather will go for Mass Communication.

Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday, bagged a Doctorate Degree in Theology at the seventh convocation of NOUN in Abuja.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu, said in his address at the ceremony that Obasanjo was among other notable Nigerians in the list of the 14,769 graduands in which 41 of them made first class honours.

Abdalla listed other outstanding graduating students which he described as NOUN Ambassadors including: Chief Chika Okpala, popularly known as ‘’Chief Zebrudaya Okorigwe Nwogbo alias 4.30’’, who was among the graduating Masters Degree students.

According to the V.C, the convocation marked the largest number of students so far graduated in the university while also commending Obasanjo for his successful completion of a rigorous course.

Augustine Okezie, Abuja

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