Lawyers urge return of Isolo Secondary School to owners
LAWYERS to Akaix West Africa Limited, the original owners of Metropolitan College, now comprising of Isolo Secondary School in Lagos, have urged the State Governor, Babatunde Fashola to ensure the return of the school to them before the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2015.
The call, according to the lawyers, became imperative owing to the need to comply with the Education (Private Secondary Institutions) (Special Provisions) (Repeal) Law of Lagos State, which mandated the return of Private Secondary Schools in the state to their onwers for effective management.
The lawyers, in a personal letter to Fashola signed by one of them, Malcolm Omirhobo, said they were apprehensive that the school may not be returned after May 29 due to redtapisms, bureaucracy, indiscretion and inability on the part of the officials of the Ministry of Education to appraise and appreciate the expediency on ground on the need to return the school.
Akaix West Africa had sued the state government before the Lagos High Court to challenge the refusal of government to hand over the school to it when all the private schools earlier taken-over by government were returned to their owners.
The government, however, indicated willingness to amicable settle the dispute, a development which led to the matter being referred to the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) for arbitration.
At the arbitral sitting, the issues were narrowed down by parties as follows: “That the Metropolitan College comprising of Isolo Secondary School belongs to Akaix West Africa Limited.
That Metropolitan College will be released to Akaix West Africa Limited. That the Lagos State Ministry of Education is insisting on retaining part of the property hosting Isolo Secondary School.
That Akaix West Africa Limited shall comply with the terms and conditions of the return of Private Secondary Schools. That the Lagos State Government from time to time will monitor the compliance by Akaix West Africa Limited”.
However, Omirhobo lamented that the only disagreement was on the insistence by the Lagos State Ministry of Education to retain the Isolo Secondary School, which was against government’s restructuring of the educational system of divesting and allowing the private sector to invest in the educational system so as to provide the conditions in which students can learn to the highest standard and prepare themselves to meet their future needs.
The school was established in 1955 with the first batch of 19 students in Surulere area of Lagos by Akaix West Africa Limited.