By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The Nigerian Law School has reaffirmed its ban on law graduates of Houdegbe North American University in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The Council of Legal Education at its meeting of November 25, 2020 considered the appeals from graduates of the university for admission to the Nigerian Law School.
In statement pushed out on Friday by the Secretary of the Council and Director of Administration, Elizabeth Max-Uba, the Nigerian Law School resolved that the ban on admission which was imposed in 2015 should be sustained.
It based its decision to ban the varsity on the grounds that, “The University is domiciled in a Civil Law jurisdiction yet its law faculty was offering Common Law courses only.
“The Faculty was not just offering common law programmes, the subjects were very specifically designated Nigerian.
“The Students were 100% Nigerians and the language of instruction was English; whereas the lingua franca of Benin Republic is French.
“The lecturers were Nigerians drawn from faculties of law in the South West region of Nigeria, who were teaching there on part-time basis.
“Information gathered from independent sources indicated that the University had no approval from the regulatory authority in that country to run a law programme in the university until 2016, after the decision was taken by the Council to suspend admission of its graduates to the Nigerian Law School.
“There are continuing concerns over substandard tertiary institutions in the West African sub-region, Benin Republic in particular, that target Nigerian students for commercial or monetary gains only.”
The Council clarified that though it had no regulatory control over institutions domiciled outside Nigeria, however, it is vested with powers to determine who is admitted into the Nigerian Law School and under which conditions.
It added that it has the responsibility to ensure that candidates admitted to the Nigerian Law School have obtained the minimum standards in learning and have imbibed the basic tenets of the law.
Consequently, the Nigerian Law School advised parents and students to “exercise due diligence in the choice of educational institutions in order to avoid frustration at the end of the day.”