The law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN has once again appealed to the Council of Legal Education to grant them quota for admission into the Nigerian Law School as the National Universities Commission, NUC unequivocally affirmed that the commission remains the sole body to accredit law faculties in the universities in Nigeria.
In a statement by the chairman of NOUN Law Graduates Forum, Mr. Carl Umegboro, the forum expressed displeasure over the delays stating that the position of the commission has vindicated them and therefore called on the council to do the needful adding that CLE only has powers over students admitted in the law school, and not to invalidate accreditation by the regulatory body.
“We have been vindicated by NUC’s position that accreditation of courses is the sole duty of the commission and that, all accredited courses remain valid until suspended or withdrawn by the regulatory body. The matter must not be politicized”.
“During our meeting with the State Security Service over proposed nationwide protest last year, we had memorandum of understanding to suspend actions assuring that the matter was receiving attention for amicable resolution”.
“The superiority battle between the two academic bodies should be channeled to the appropriate quarters for resolution rather than oppressing innocent third-party in the quagmire. Without a doubt, Section 2(5) of the Council of Legal Education Act empowers the council to do such things as are expedient for the purpose of its functions”.
“However, the power irrefutably does not include usurpation of the powers of NUC on accreditation. The powers of the council to reject candidates into the law school under incidental matters is limited to provable gross misconducts or criminal issues for the protection of the noble protection and not absolute powers”, Umegboro said.
It will be recalled that the cold war between the two academic bodies became pronounced late last year when CLE in its November 8, 2017 advertisement published a controversial list of accredited faculties of law in the country in what it described as the current accreditation status and approved quotas of recognized faculties of law of Nigerian Universities, and excluded NOUN among other discrepancies.
Dismissing the development as surprising, baseless and usurpation of powers, the NUC through its Director, Academic Standards, Dr. Gidado Kumo stated categorically that Section 4 (E3) of NUC Act, CAP L 81 vested powers on NUC as the sole body to give accreditation to universities’ law faculties adding emphatically that, once NUC gives approval for a programme, no other authority in the country can counter it.