By Martin Paul Abuja–
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has dashed the hope of law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) from being admitted into the Nigerian Law School Th e Court, on Wednesday squashed a suit instituted by law graduates of the NOUN on the ground that only the Council of Legal Education (CLE) has the mandate to admit graduates into the Law School, Delivering his judgment, Justice Hilary Oshomah, upheld: “Th e power to admit students into law school is intrinsic and since the fi rst defendant (CLE) does not share its power with any other person on issue of who to admit and criteria of admitting that student is a matter of the domestic confi nes of Council of Legal Education.
” He said academic matters should be left in the hands of the academics, adding: “Th is court cannot decide to order the National Universities Commission (NUC) or Council of Legal Education (CLE) to admit students from National Open University of Nigeria into law school for reasons being that they obtained their law degree by part-time or distance education.
” “Th is is the decision of the Court, that the reliefs sort by the plaintiff are totally misconceived, unmeritorious and not granted.
On this decision, this honourable court dismisses this suit”.
Th e legal counsel to the graduates, Prof Abiodun Amuda-Kannika, SAN, had in court prayed the court to deliver judgement in favour of his plaintiff s based on the relief sort by the aff ected graduates.
Meanwhile, counsel for CLE, Mark Agwu, had asked the court to strike out the matter, noting that part-time and correspondent graduates were not qualifi ed for admission into the Law School.
However, Counsel to the plaintiff s, Amuda-Kannika, expressed hope that the judgment of the court would be annulled at the Appeal Court saying: “Th e decision has been given by the court, we believe in God and I believe that administratively it can be strengthened out.
But it all depends on my client they might have a second thought at to the next line of action.
“We believe that we ought to have won, but haven lost, we believe in God that their LLB certifi cate cannot just be LLB alone, we will have BL at the end of the day because I believe that the Attorney General still have power to override the decision of the council of legal education under Section 4 of the Council of Legal Education Act, to allow the decision of the council to be set aside and allow them to go to law school.
” Some graduates of the Law Department of NOUN had on May 12, 2015, instituted a legal action against the Council of Legal Education, National Universities Commission, Attorney General of the Federation and the National Open University of Nigeria over the refusal to allow them be admitted into the Law School that would guarantee their practices as lawyers.
In their suit, they wanted the court to compel the relevant authorities to make provisions to include NOUN graduates in the Law School as being benefi ted by