The management of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, and some students of the Faculty of Law of the institution are now trading words and accusations over the exclusion of 70 students from those being mobilised for admission into the Nigerian Law School where they are to undergo further training and be certified to practice law.
The affected students, Vanguard learned, are those who graduated from the school last year during the 2021/2022 academic session.
The grouse of the students is that they are being sidelined while those who graduated early this month are being selected to go to Law School.
They added that it would mean they would spend extra year to go to the Law School when they didn’t have any carry over or any reason that should delay them further.
Some of the students, who spoke in confidence, alleged that some untidy yardsticks were employed to determine those to go to the Law School.
However, the Dean, Faculty of Law, UNN, Prof. Ifeoma Enemo, speaking in a phone chat with our correspondent, said there was no wrong doing on the part of the management.
“Early last year, the affected students were supposed to sit for their final papers and we were ready to organise that. However, the students said they should be given more time to prepare even when they were told that nobody knew what could happen. It was at the time the ASUU strike was looming. Unfortunately, the strike started.
“The strike lasted exactly eight months. In the course of the strike, the Nigerian Law School wrote to us around July last year asking for the list of our students to come for their programme. Our quota is 220 students. We had to start calling some students who were yet to go to the Law School for one reason or the the other but who have got over such issues to come. It was in the midst of the strike and eventually, we only got 29 students.
“You can imagine the number of slots we could not fill. No one can blame the Law School, they have their own schedule and it is not only students from the public universities that they handle. If you are not ready, others may be ready.
“Early this month, the Law School requested our list of graduates, remember that our quota is still 220. What we did was that the faculty management held a meeting and it was resolved that two-thirds of the slots be given to the 2021/2022 session graduates who eventually finished their course last November after the strike and the rest to the current students who just concluded their programme.
“To avoid any rancour or allegation of favouritism, selection of those to go was based on their academic performance, that is their Cumulative Grade Point Average, CGPA. so the 147 selected among that group were based on their CGPA likewise the ones picked from the current set. Anybody who has anything to contradict this should bring his facts to the open.
“Some lecturers even have their own children and wards that were not selected. In fact, the faculty management had to pet the current set who felt that they should be given the total slots to understand and bear the situation. They were saying they were not responsible for last year’s set’s travails,” she said.
Enemo added that it would be mischievous to accuse the faculty management of any wrong doing in the matter.
“We had no control over the strike that took most part of last year and we cannot also say the whole slots be given the previous set and totally leave out the current ones,” she stated.
Enemo appealed to the Nigerian Law School to increase the admission quota given UNN, saying being the oldest law faculty in the country, it should be given some considerations.
It is after passing out of the Law School that lawyers are called to the Bar and then go for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, scheme to now start to practice as lawyers.