Justice Hilary Oshomah of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has set October 4 to rule on the suit filed by some law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN.
The graduates went to court following the refusal of the relevant authorities to admit them to the Nigerian Law School.
Joined in the suit are the Council for Legal Education, National Universities Commission, the Attorney-General of the Federation and NOUN. Mark Agwu, counsel to the Council for Legal Education, urged the court to strike out the case at Wednesday’s hearing in Port Harcourt.
He told the court that part-time and correspondent graduates were not qualified for admission into the Nigeria Law School.
“The certificate from NOUN Law Faculty is not enough to give the graduates admission into the Law school,” he said. But Abiodun Amuda-Kannike, counsel to the plaintiffs, urged the court to deliver judgment in favour of his clients in line with the reliefs sort by the affected graduates.
He told the court that the Council for Legal Education was bent on depriving his clients the privilege of being admitted into the Law School.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recalls that the Council for Legal Education had issued a public notice in 2015 against NOUN’s admission of its first set of law students in 2004, who later graduated in 2013.
Consequently, the Law Graduates Forum of NOUN filed a suit against the Council, challenging its refusal to admit them into the Nigerian Law School programme.
After hearing the matter on December 7, 2016, in Port Harcourt, the presiding judge, Babatunde Quadri, failed to deliver judgment on the case on January 27, 2017 as scheduled.
Since then, the law graduates have continued to fight for the judgment with several petitions to the appropriate quarters until the matter was re-assigned to Justice Oshomah.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ruling will determine whether or not the more than 1,000 law graduates of NOUN will be able to practice law.
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