The Director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Dr. Nnenna Nancy Chukwuma, has commended the Law students of the university for their patience through the dark moments when the university was battling to clear issues with the Council of Legal Education (CLE) on the admission of NOUN Law graduates into the Nigerian Law School.
Chukwuma gave the commendation during the just concluded National Moot Court activities held simultaneously across the six geopolitical zones of the country. “I sincerely appreciate you for all that you have been doing, especially in believing in the university. Even at that time when it appeared that nothing was there to hold onto, as far as the Law programme was concerned, you still held onto it and said ‘this thing is going to work,’ and today we can see that the thing is working,” she said.
She further observed that “The way things are going, Year One may never finish in the Law programme.” This opinion, she said was because when she assessed the course registration documents of her study centre, she saw numerous registrants with matriculation numbers that indicated they were admitted in 2004 to 2009, adding that “these are students who left us when they saw that things were rough in the programme, but have returned to continue when they realised that ‘something good can and has come out of Nazareth.” “Those of you who stuck with us when the going was tough till we broke even, I sincerely appreciate you,” she said.
Dr. Ferdinand Adama, Head of Department, Public Law, NOUN, who was the lead monitor of the Moot Court activities at Port Harcourt Study Centre, while explaining the rationale behind the exercise, said that moot court activities were one of the requirements expected of those who aspire to be inducted into the legal profession. “It is the practical aspect of legal education which the Council of Legal Education and the Body of Benchers require for Law graduates to be admitted into the Nigerian Law School,” he added.
Adama explained that admission into the first degree Law programme at NOUN has been suspended and not scrapped. “This is not unusual in the university system. Any programme can be suspended in any university pending the time conditions for mounting such programmes are perfected. Those programmes would normally recommence once those conditions are met. It is the same thing that happened to NOUN first degree Law programme; management of the university is seriously working towards recommencing admissions into the Law programme and the public would be duly informed when that is done. All this is done to help us attain universally accepted standard in the study of Law. It is for our good,” he said.
The Law lecturer revealed that in the meantime, “the Faculty of Law is seriously working at commencing postgraduate programme in Law. It is soon going to start,” he said.
Accompanying Adama on the monitoring exercise was another lecturer at NOUN Law Faculty, Barrister Grace Lalung Opadeju.