By Talatu Bala
The Law Graduates Forum of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, on Saturday, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the NOUN Amendment Act.
A statement by Carl Umegboro, Chairman, NOUN Law Graduates Forum released in Abuja, said that the amendment would resolve the protracted crisis that had lingered over half a decade, a development that had particularly affected law students of the university.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ita Enang, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, had on Friday in Abuja, disclosed to State House correspondents, the President’s assent to the bill.
Mr Enang had said, “President Buhari has also assented to National Open University Amendment Act, which allows the National Open University to operate like all other universities, having the same power and functions and the same administrative structures.”
The group expressed joy that the protracted crisis had been resolved by the President and that by so doing, the law school admission crisis, as well as NYSC issues, had now been laid to rest.
“By the Presidential assent, which has replaced the hitherto ‘correspondence’ in the Act to now ‘Full-Time programme’, which was the basis on which the Council of Legal Education refused to admit law graduates of the university to the Nigerian Law School, it is apparent the quagmires have been finally laid to rest and admission quota imminent. ”
According to Umegboro, although the crisis began during the reign of previous administrations, nothing was done to assuage the situation until the advent of the Buhari administration in 2015.
“In the light of this, we hail Mr President for his understanding, trustworthiness and commitment to education and masses’ welfare in general,” he said.
NAN reports that prior to the Presidential assent, NOUN law graduates had been refused admission into the Nigerian Law School and excepted from NYSC, a situation the law graduates had described as unjust and discriminatory.
They had taken to the courts in search of justice.
This led to a situation where Justice Hilary Oshomah of the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt, Rivers on October 4, 2017, decided to “hands-off” the matter to allow the academia to resolve the matter.