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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Lead City Law programme was never accredited – Appeal court

HONOURABLE Justice Chidi N. Uwa of the Federal Appeal Court sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday ruled that the Law programme of Lead City University was never accredited, thereby setting aside the judgment of the of the State High Court declared on July 26, 2011, resolving the judgment in favour of the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) which appealed.
Delivering the judgment in almost three hour sitting in case CA/1/255/2011, between the NUC and Rev. Segun Ademola Alli and others, Justice Uwa noted that there is a difference in operating as private university and establishing of a law faculty and accreditation. She maintained that from evidences tagged as exhibits  were examined before arriving at the conclusion that the law programme of the university was never accredited, saying there could have been a situation where the programme was de-accredited.
She said Lead City University law programme was regarded invalid by the NUC because of the absence of Council of Legal Education (CLE) which must be involved in the process as stated by the Act of the commission.
In the judgment, Justice Uwas revealed that some of the evidences before her set the records straight that the plaintiff who was said to have graduated in 2009 could not have when the programme was established at the university in year 2008. According to her, that means, officially it took the plaintiff, one year to complete a law programme in the institution.
She also clarified that the law programme in the university was established in a letter dated April 15, 2008, the plaintiff was given admission to study law through a letter dated May 22, 2005, while the institution got licence to operate as a private university through a letter dated June 9, 2005.
Justice Uwa said what this implies was that the plaintiff even got admitted before the Lead City University was awarded licence in 2005, adding that the plaintiff could not also have been studying the same programme which was established in the institution three years after it was officially established.
In her judgment, Uwa noted that the NUC had stated its guidelines for accreditation of law programmes in Nigeria through a newspaper advertorial which was not only meant for Lead City University only but all intending institutions willing to run law programmes. She thereby based her decision on a 15 set guidelines set aside by the law school, with emphasis on numbers 13,14 and 15 on the set out guidelines.
She also ruled that the plaintiff has no locus standi to challenge the action of the appellant (NUC) over the accreditation of law programme of the University, adding that the action was meted out to the university and not the plaintiff and considered his action as that of ‘busy body.’
Other areas she delved into is that the university acted illegally having commenced admitting students even before it got its licence to operate as a private university.
The judgment according to Uwa was supported by the Presiding justice of Ibadan division of the Court of Appeal, Honourable Justice M.B. Dongban-Mensem and Honourable Justice A. Jauro.
She however ordered that each party bear its cost of running the case.