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Re: Before legal education council ruins open university

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Martins Oloja

Martins Oloja

Anxiety of Law graduates and students of National open University of Nigeria (denied Law School admission) has turned to sorrow. And after an article on this page two weeks ago (August 13) on the expediency of a high-level intervention by big men in Abuja and legal luminaries that are connected to the conflict, sorrow has turned to hot debate…So is a companion piece to the article on August 6 entitled, “Between Abayomi Oluwole & The Pen-robbers in Abuja….” Then a self-appraisal article on the “Nigerian Guild of Editors’ Under-reported Conference on Agric Business” in Port Harcourt last week (August, 20)…All of these articles are still being debated. Let’s read some of the people’s views on the issues. Enjoy the rest of the weekend…

This is a masterpiece of an admonition. Just that our leaders do not read and digest authoritative information like this. They prefer those that will massage their over-bloated ego. CLE is just promoting it’s secterian agenda against NOUN law graduates and no one has the capacity to call the ‘behemoth’ to order, just as arrogant folks somehow injected a dilapidated disparity between B Sc and HND for no just reason, forgeting that HND graduates undergo mandatory 5 year training while some B.Sc’s are gotten in 4 years, even 3 years outside Nigeria.

The folks in CLE, some of who are products of FG scholarship, correspondence law degrees and so on would rather die, than see others benefit from such gestures. While the world is moving forward, analogue folks are anachronistically taken us centuries back, perhaps, in the assumption that the world will wait for us. Law school is a leveler for all law graduates, whether from private, government or foreign students. Let all get there and let those who pass their exams be called to the Bar. If CLE will not allow this position, let the government proscribe the Law School and allow law graduates take qualification exams as before the call to Bar as it is being done by accountants, doctors and other professionals.
Dejoe: Twitter@disqus_vgHw60gMIM

Thanks a lot for this intervention, Oga Oloja. However, I think we should move beyond the fact that Open and Distance Learning has become an integral part of scholarship in the 21st Century. The question we should ask is: Is NOUN being run like similar institutions around the world? In other words, are there standards in the admission process; curricular contents; composition of faculty; design, instruction and dissemination of materials? The way it is today, NOUN is regarded as an institution for weak, younger students who, perhaps, could not scale the high fence of JAMB.

While I feel for numerous NOUN Law graduates, who cannot now proceed to the Law School, I also think NOUN should do all that is necessary to get the hapless students out of this mess. One would also like to know if the CLE was involved, ab initio, in the process that included Law as one of the courses at NOUN. Who approved the inclusion? Who designed the instructional materials? Have NOUN Law students been interacting with their counterparts in conventional universities?
I do not think we should blame the CLE. Rather, NOUN s8hould, as a matter of urgency, learn from similar institutions where Law is offered to know how the programme is mainstreamed. Important personalities like Chief Afe Babalola, who obtained Law degrees through correspondence, should also be consulted. A solution must be found to this logjam. And very soon.

Taiwo Oladokun, PhD
The legal luminaries who know better than the masses should show interest in this matter for posterity sake. Just as noted by Dr T. Oladokun, countless bright minds desiring to study Law can find leverage even through NOUN scheme…

Toyosi Odunuga, Abuja…
You failed to inform the public the reasons the CLE gave for not accrediting the Law faculty of the NOUN. The decision could not have been taken off-handedly. So give the public the other narrative. There must be many courses at NOUN that have received accreditation.

M T Usman
Martins Oloja, thanks for your research and discovery. If the Executive and the Legislature do not call Council of Legal Education to order they will one day tell the world that there is no country called Nigeria. Imagine a “servant”(of the law), CLE, saying that ACTS of National Assembly that set up NOUN, and other federal institutions are illegal. Should a regulation override the law? The executive and legislature should query and set aside the board of CLE and inaugurate a board that will obey the LAW of the land. I insist that if Nigeria’s Council of Legal Education (CLE) is not made to obey the enabling laws that set up National Universities Commission (NUC) and National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) one day, a court will rule and tell the world that President Mohammadu Buhari is not the president of Nigeria and that no country is called Nigeria, then other nations of the world will know that we are not a law abiding nation.

What is more, now that different regions and nationalities in Nigeria are fighting for autonomy from two powerful and lawless centre, the president should set up a conflict resolution panel to resolve the disagreement between NOUN and CLE as suggested by Martins Oloja. Wise counsel saves a nation. If this is not done, states will soon advocate state-owned law Schools as it is done in the U.S. Some of them in CLE and other affiliations should come out and tell us the institutions they graduated from. It will be recalled that some university administrators brought up this type of argument on National Examination Council’s (NECO’s) certificate during president Olusegun Obasanjo’s government (1999-2007).

The government then through agencies in education and the presidency destroyed the intransigence of some universities that would not accept NECO certificates and insisted that they must respect the law that set up the examination body. And they did immediately. CLE is a mocker of the law. What is a Law School? Let all go there and face the Final Bar Examinations. That is the spirit of Law Schools everywhere. If The Open University in UK can offer medicine through virtual means, why can’t Law be taught through an open study and online system in this age of technology?

Evelyn Ifenna: Student, NOUN.
Thanks for your article in The Guardian of August 13, 2016. It was uplifting and the well-researched work gave me some relief that somebody at least cares. Please if you can, do more to support us. We have lost hope of becoming lawyers after several years of tuition, time consumed and expenses of over #700k to pursue this education. Council of Legal Education should let us go to Law School. Thank you Sir and God bless you as you raise your powerful pen for the voiceless.
Francis U. Onwuachumba.

NOUN.
RE: Underreported NGE
Conference on Agric Business.
No conference, workshop, seminar, public lecture etc is reported beyond the opening ceremony. And I tell you why. Often, organisers of such events DON’T build media coverage into their plan. So, the VIP -special guest governor, President, VC, ambassador, ex this, ex that- attracts reporters. He is main object of reporters’ presence and once he or she is through with opening speech, keynote address or welcome address, reporters leave with him. News reports are focused on what he or she said. News reports from ANEC were either focused on Minister Lai or Wike or Uduaghan with little mention for NGE president. But editors also failed…no tweets on conference presentations. No live FB updates. No YouTube video updates. Only updates from conference were photos from dinner. Surprised?
Achillus-Chud Uchegbu, The Union Editor.

Powerful and resourceful editor, the definition of news has changed here. News stories are powerfully triggered by other motivations far from objectivity, accuracy, fairness, balance and human interest. So sad!

Charles Oni, Lecturer, Yaba
College Of Technology, Lagos
Well if you depend on your correspondents in PH, you won’t get much, how many papers sponsored their good writers to cover the event? Was Gbenga Salau accredited to cover it for The Guardian? No, only editors went there. So why would it be reported beyond opening and closing prayers. With due respect sir.

Olola Seun Akioye.
Just last week, a respected communication scholar and teacher, Prof. Lai Oso, reiterated the need for a more practical approach to teaching journalism. What do we expect from graduates weaned, largely, on theories. Adopting new and practical paradigms to communication and media scholarship and a sustainable mentoring scheme could help in producing some good journalists as of old…
…Olola Seun Akioye, couldn’t the editors present have also written reports that dissect salient issues at the conference? Weren’t most of them once reporters? Perhaps, they attended for other reasons….

Taiwo Oladokun, PhD
I agree with you sir. Except to add that even editors failed to plan news angles and get their reporters to chase VIPs but also chase lecture papers and of course side attractions.‬

‪The editors are more concerned about conference bags; while their reporters make do with brown envelops which can only be handed by disappearing VIPs.‬‬
They attended to make new contacts with the new men/women in power. They are not interested in the quality of the content of papers laboriously researched and delivered at their own event. They are more interested in the recession that has hit their bank accounts.
As everyone is being asked to face the farm, editors and their reporters will become deaf until real poverty returns to hunt them in future (that is not too distant).

Uche Nnadozie,
Re: Between Abayomi
Oluwole & Pen-robbers in Abuja
An avid reader of your article.in this case the Man, Abayomi Oluwole is important by his act. This is the kind of person to be found in the place and position of governance not padders and mediocrities. Our government would not see or discover persons like this gentleman to nominate for national honours. How many more Abayomi’s in our country are yet to be discovered. God will help us.

Seyi Adenuga
Martins, Hi! CONGRATS! CONGRATS!! It’s invariably a Divine encounter with such a fantastically good Nigerian, amongst others, in our “fantastically corrupt country”. Thanks, too, for being grateful from the roof-tops. God will continue to order your steps, in JMN. SHALOM. (soaakinbulumo@aaua.soc/cssdepts).
Inside Stuff Grammar School:

Less Vs Fewer:
Note that less should not be misused for fewer. Less refers to quantity, fewer refers to number. Examples:
Wrong: They had less workers than in the previous screening.
Correct: They had fewer workers than in the previous screening.
Wrong: There were not less than 100 participants at the seminar.
Correct: There were no fewer than 100 participants at the seminar.


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1 Comment
  • Ikem Williams

    About NOUN Law, the question one will ask first is why did the part time/evening law program cancelled in conventional Nigeria Universities that are well equipped with lecturers, professors and we’ll equipped law libraries some years back and now want it smuggled through the back door. Quick solution is first to allow the universities to reopen their part Time/evening law programs and then NOUN can have peace. The universities are the enemy.