Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Tussle between NOUN, CLE over law graduates must end now, senators vow

The long-standing face-off between NOUN and the Council of Legal Education (CLE) over the latter’s refusal to admission graduate of the university to the law school has continue to get to the nerves of the Nigerian senate, who vowed to resolve the issue sooner than later.
The senators said the problem remain a cause for worry for the Red Chamber and a agreed that the NOUN law graduates ought to be given opportunity to the law school like their colleagues in other universities.
This came at a public hearing by the ethics and privileges committee of the senate, chaired by senator Samuel Anyanwu, who bemoaned that the continued refusal by the CLE to admit NOUN graduates could have been averted if the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) had acted swiftly in clarifying the status of NOUN law programme.
He said the senate was worried about the issue, stressing that his committee will soon ensure the end of the tussle by inviting to the table the trio of NOUN, NUC and CLE for the final resolution of the matter.
A petition tabled before the senators by a group of law graduate of NOUN was subsequently referred to the committee, which prompted the public hearing, where the Vice-Chancellor appeared and gave a detailed account of the whole issue before the senators.
Accompanied by the dean of law faculty, registrar, directors of legal and that of academic planning, Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu told the committee that the whole logjam was a result of a wrong perception of the university as a “part-time or a correspondence” institution, which has never been the case with NOUN.
He said Nigerians have found it difficult to digest what an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of study is all about, which is fast becoming a global university education system.
“There are 156 ODL universities throughout the world. Nowhere is this problem happening except in Nigeria. It might a miscarriage of justice if these young men and women are not allowed to go to law school,” the VC said.
He told the senators that the CLE has never approached the university management in trying to address their concerns. However, the university has bent over backwards to meet some of their demands, which they picked form the public domain, but to no avail.
“We have never met with them; they have never met with us. It is very dangerous for us. There is the need for us to find a lasting solution, because this is not about me, it is not about you. it is about Nigerians who have the right to be educated,” he said.
A question by a member of the committee, Senator Joseph Ogba on the accreditation status of the law faculty, the faculty’s dean, Dr Alero Akujobi said the faculty was given a partial accreditation, but another round of accreditation in 2015 went successfully, the report of which was still being expected from NUC.

The petitioners, present at the public hearing in the National Assembly, later thanked the Vice-Chancellor for the passion with which he has been addressing the problem and expressed a strong belief that although he inherited the problem, it would be resolved under his stewardship.

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