There has been an air of excitement among the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) since they received official call up letters for admission into the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja, last week.
Speaking with NOUN News on Monday, one of the graduates who has received the call up letter, Mr. Allwell Okwuonu, said the university had issued a memo requesting all NOUN Law graduates from 2014 to 2019 sessions, numbering 1,876, to submit a fresh file containing all documents that qualified them for admission into the Law programme of the university.
“After we had submitted that, a letter came from the Nigerian Law School, directing that we should formally apply for admission into a special remedial programme of the Nigerian Law School,” he said.
Okwuonu explained that after many of them had applied, they were originally slated to proceed to the Nigerian Law School on the 3rd of May 2021, but could not report on that day because they were asked to hold on as the admission processes were still ongoing between the Nigerian Law School and the management of NOUN.
He said on the 14th of June, 2021, he received an email that they had been given full admission into the special remedial programme of the Nigerian Law School, and that they should report on the campus of the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja, on Monday June 28th 2021, after they had paid their tuition.
Okwuonu could not hide his excitement when he said that he and his colleagues were highly elated that they had finally been given an opportunity to proceed to the Law School to get qualified as professional legal practitioners, as well as barristers and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The law graduate added that they have been told that it is their performance at Law School as the first set of NOUN law graduates that would determine whether the next batch of NOUN graduates at the Nigeria’s apex legal education institution would be granted direct admission instead of going through the special remedial programme.
“We don’t mind being the guinea pig for this test, but we can assure the National Open University of Nigeria that we won’t let them down,” Okwuonu said.
He commended the management of NOUN for fighting hard to ensure that their efforts and years of study were not wasted.
“The waiting was painful, but we knew that it wasn’t the fault of the university. We’re truly elated, all of us; and we thank the university for having been so concerned and stood by us to ensure that it ended in this happy note,” he said.
It would be recalled that for many years, the Council of Legal Education (CLE) had precluded NOUN law graduates from gaining admission into the Nigerian Law School. They had argued that the graduates of the institution were receiving instructions through correspondence and that the CLE did not accept students who studied by correspondence into the Nigerian Law School.
The university had approached the National Assembly to amend the Act of parliament establishing the institution and to remove the clause that described the university as a correspondent institution.
The amendment was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, in December 2018.
Following that presidential assent was a series of horse-trading, which has resulted in the resolution that the first batch of 1,876 NOUN Law graduates be admitted into a special remedial programme in the Nigerian Law School.