The Law Graduates Forum of the National Open University of Nigeria has called on the National Commission for UNESCO to intervene in the crisis excluding them from the Nigerian Law School.
A statement signed by Carl Umegboro, President and Samuel Adegbola, Secretary, LGF in Abuja on Monday, said the group made this call in a letter to the agency through its Nigeria Commission dated July 23.
The group expressed displeasure over the continued refusal of the Council of Legal Education to grant them admission quota for vocational training in the Nigerian Law School as stipulated in their students’ handbook.
The group also stressed that the law programme in NOUN was accredited in line with National Universities Commission Act CAP L 81, sub-section E3.
The group stated that their ordeals began in 2012 when NOUN emerged winners of the national moot-court competition for all law faculties in Nigerian universities and represented the country in India international competition.
The letter reads: “Since then, NOUN was excluded and arbitrarily refused admission into the law school.
“Since 2013 the first set graduated, NOUN law graduates were unjustifiably forced to be roaming the streets for doing nothing wrong but their diligence.
“Undeniably, the hostility leaves much to be desired in the academia rather than sportsmanship as obtained in other competitions.
“With due respect to the hallowed council, we demand to know the particular course in the faculty of law in universities in Nigeria presently that justifies the claim that the study of Law transcends knowledge acquisition alone.
“As it involves the moulding of future entrants to the Bar in learning, character and attitudes knowing that NOUN adheres strictly to the same NUC curriculum issued to other universities.”
The group also stated that civilised nations ran Open and Distance Learning institutions that offered law degree programmes and Nigerian graduates were freely admitted into the Nigerian Law School.
“For example The University of London; American Correspondence School of Law, Chicago; Arden University, United Kingdom; Colombian Correspondence College of Law and Washington DC; New York Correspondence School of Law, to name but a few.
“In the light of these, we passionately seek your urgent intervention to enable us proceed to the Nigerian Law School for vocational training accordingly.
“As the protracted delay has constituted excessive hardship to us which is a threat to national security.”
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the National Association of Nigerian Students in May issued a three month ultimatum to the Federal Government to facilitate admission of all NOUN law graduates into law school.
The NANS had through a communiqué addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari called on him to use his good offices to ensure the matter was resolved.
The letter by the LGF to the National Commission for UNESCO also copied the Minister of Education, Executive Secretary, NUC, CLE and Vice Chancellor, NOUN.