Law School: NOUN Law Graduates Win at Last ...As Buhari Signs NOUN Amendment Act, Rejects Electoral Bill
Law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have eventually won the battle to attend the mandatory law school as President Muhammad Buhari has signed to law the amendment bill sent to him by the National Assembly.
The Senior Special Assistant to President on National Assembly (Senate), Sen Dr Ita Enang made this known today, Friday December 7 in Abuja.
The President's aide disclosed this in a press release which he signed, titled: "Remission on Transmitted Bills Upon Presidential Decision Re: (1) Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 & (2) National Open University of Nigeria (Amendment) Act 2018".
The statement reads in part; " the President has in the same vein assented to the National Open University (Amendment) Act. By this the university shall be known as the National Open University of Nigeria. This brings the operation and course if study including all administrative and legal processes in accord with all other existing universities in Nigeria, eliminating possible discrimination etc. against products and programmes."
Meanwhile, the President has once again declined his assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018, returning it to the National Assembly for a proper harmonisation.
The release then said the amendment Act now "allows the establishment of community and special study centres, upon satisfaction of approved guidelines for such centres."
However, the newly assented Act stipulates in Section 1(A) that "any community requesting for the establishment of community study centre be required to provide 80% of both infrastructure and instructional material needs while the university shall provide the manpower and the remaining 20% of the needs."
It would be recalled that the Council of Legal Education disallowed law graduates of this federal university from being called to bar while the National Youth Service Corps scheme also exempted NOUN products from participating in the mandatory one year national service. With this new law, discrimination in any form against any of the courses have been abrogated.
Since 2014, the NOUN Faculty of Law had been turning out law graduates some of whom even won international legal competition, yet the CLE prevented them from going to Nigerian Law School on the ground that law was not allowed to be studied through distance learning.
A release signed by the Director General and Director of Media and Publicity of the NOUN Law Graduates (NOULGA), Messrs Alex Okonofuo and Tai Oguntayo, lauded this jinx breaking decision of President Muhammad Buhari. NOULGA us a national body that represents all law graduates of NOUN. It has been in the front banner of the struggle to ensure that discrimination against them as "innocent third party" abrogated.
This took NOULGA leadership to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, National Assembly, NOUN authorities, body of benchers and several other Stakeholders. In fact, some law graduates if the institution approached court of law over the matter but lost out to the CLE. NOULGA all along had pursued the matter from the angle of modified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which had eventually yielded positive result.