NOUN: Court Dismisses Suit Against Council of Legal Education,  Others


From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

A Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has dismissed the suit file by law graduates of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) against the Council of Legal Education (CLE) and others, over the refusal of the relevant authorities to admit the graduates into the Nigerian Law School.

Some law graduates of NOUN had, on May 12, 2015, filed a suit against the Council, NOUN and Attorney-General of Federation, over refusal to admit the graduates into law school.

Counsel for the affected graduates, Prof. Abiodun Amuda-Kannika,  (SAN), had urged the court to deliver judgement in favour of his clients (plaintiffs) with the relief sort by the affected graduates.

But on his part, the legal representative for CLE, Mark Agwu, urged the court to strike out the matter. He told the court that part-time and correspondent graduates were not qualified for admission into the Nigeria Law School.

In his judgement, Justice Hillary Oshomah, ruled that by law, “the power to admit students into law school is intrinsic and since the first defendant (CLE) does not share its power with any other person, that, on issue of who to admit, students and criteria of admitting that student, is a matter of the domestic confines of Council of Legal Education.

“This court cannot decide to order University Commission or Council of Legal Education 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.”

Justice Oshomah further ruled “This is the decision of the Court, that the reliefs sort by the plaintiffs are totally misconceived, unmeriterous and not granted. On this decision, this honourable court dismiss this suit.”

Speaking with journalists shortly after the judgement, counsel for the plaintiff, Prof Amuda-Kannika (SAN), said the judgement might be appealed by his clients, expressing hope that the Attorney General of the Federation could override the decision of the Court in favour of his clients.

Also reacting to the judgement, counsel for NOUN, Yusuf Bado Mok, said the court decision on the matter was legal, which had tackled the relief sought for by the Law graduates of the institution.

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