Does National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN) Law Graduates Go To LAW School? – Latest Update
Aare you a law student or an aspiring law student of the National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN) and you are asking either of these questions? [noun and nigerian law school 2020, fate of noun law graduates, noun law graduates for law school, noun law graduates and council of legal education, noun law graduates and CLE, noun law accreditation, noun news today, noun and CLE today], then this article is for you.
The outright answer to the above questions is NO.
Law graduates of the National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN) do not go to law school as at now because they are yet to get the required approval from the council of legal education (CLE) and the Nigeria universities commission (NUC).
Why? Read On For Full Details
PEOPLE go to school to train to become professionals in different fields, and some professions require extra training and even qualifying examinations (after university education) to be recognised and accepted as a professional in such fields. One of the professions is law. Attending a university to obtain a degree in law does not suffice for one to be able to work as a lawyer in Nigeria.
One must attend the Nigerian Law School to be called to the Bar and be recognised as a lawyer in the country. However, those who read law at the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, are in a dilemma over what will eventually become of their certificates after spending five years to study law in that institution.
Current situation of NOUN law graduates As at now, law graduates from NOUN are not being mobilised for the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps Scheme, NYSC, and are also not allowed to go the Nigerian Law School to be able to be licensed as lawyers. This is despite the signing into law in 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari of the NOUN Act that allows them to observe the NYSC scheme and go to the Law School. While some graduates of the school opined that not being allowed to participate in the NYSC is not a problem for them since they have their own businesses, they expressed concerns about young adults that now see NOUN as their only option having spent years at home without being offered admission by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
Abubakar Abdullatib Danharee and Olawoyin Olumide are some of the NOUN graduates who feel for the young ones to whom NOUN has become the only option to obtain university education.
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.
Position of National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN) On The Subject Matter
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.
Why The Current Deadlock
A lawyer, Mr Tolu Ayodele, told Vanguard that the current deadlock could be attributed to a number of factors and issues. He listed the factors to include administrative and legal ones. “The Nigerian Legal Education Council wants law graduates from NOUN to come to the Nigerian Law School and start from Bar Part One, instead of the Bar Part Two that graduates of conventional universities do start from.
The Bar Part One is usually for law graduates from outside the country, that is those who graduated from foreign universities. With that, they will spend one more year in the Law School. “Also, the National Universities Commission wants them to spend seven years for their law programme because it is treated as a part-time programme.
Like the first issue, the students are opposed to that too. They argue that they attend lectures almost on a daily basis. Recall that the NUC in 2013, cancelled all part-time law programmes run by universities in the country. Moreover, the issues of being mobilised for the NYSC, being admitted to the Law School and whether or not to extend the tenure of training to seven years are already in court.
The matter is before the Supreme Court now and until it is finally decided, nothing may be done.” With the situation now, a graduate of law from NOUN cannot metamorphose into a full blown lawyer.