The Lagos State House of Assembly Adhoc-Committee on Education has met with representatives of parents of Part one Law Students of the Lagos State University (LASU) and management of the school with a view to ending the de-accreditation of law programme of the school by the National University Commission (NUC) few years ago.
The committee, headed by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, met with the parents of the students, and the management of the institution, led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Obafunwa on Wednesday 10th September at the Lateef Jakande Hall in the assembly premises over a petition written to the Assembly by the parents of the affected students.
In the petition titled; “Petition on The Plight of Part 1 (one) Law Students of The Lagos State University” and dated 17th August, 2015, the parents wanted the assembly to speak to the authority of the school to determine whether students admitted into LASU for the 2014/2015 academic session to read law are bonafide students of the university.
They said further in the petition, co-signed by Dr. Lekan Aderibigbe, Mr. Ganiu Alokun and Mrs. Osibodu amongst others, that there should be a determination”Whether the denial of these students to partake in the matriculation of the new students conducted on Wednesday February 11th, 2015 was proper and in order.”
The parents alleged in the petition that the university places advertisement for admission into its law faculty of law through JAMB brochure for 2014/2015 admissions.
“Based on students scores in JAMB UTME and in furtherance of item 3.1 above, LASU placed further advertisement in some selected daily newspapers for prospective candidates to apply for courses of their choice in the University. Copy of The Nation Newspaper of Wednesday July 9, 2014 is hereto attached as exhibit 2,” they said in the petition.
The parents added that prospective students of the school were duly cleared individually and severally to undertake the study of course (s) of their choice including law students for 2014/2015.
“Consequently, students were allowed to make mandatory payment of school fees to the University. It is important to note however, that not all prospective students made the screening exercise, some were disqualified,” they said.
According to the parents, the students successfully participated in all the admission processes highlighted in the petition, adding that they were taken aback when on Wednesday 11, February they were all excluded from the matriculation exercise conducted by the University for the new students.
“Rather than redeem their promise as contained in their own newsletter and do the needful for these students, LASU authorities continue to treat the law students (Part 1) with utmost disdain and reckless abandon.
“Till date and first semester already gone and eight months after admission, law students (Part 1) are yet to start receiving/attending lectures,” they said.
The parents subsequently urged the assembly to conduct investigation into the matter with a view of restoring the rights and privileges of all law students (Part 1) of LASU as bonafide students to them.
“Law students (Part 1) should be allowed to resume normal lectures forthwith and allowances made to enable them cover the lost ground. While the University authorities should continue in their effort to have the law faculty accredited.
“The law students (Part 1) should not be allowed to lose any session as a result of this impasse. The special matriculation as promised by the University should be conducted forthwith. Law students (Part 1) should not be allowed to suffer or victimised as a result of this effort,” they stated.
Speaking at the meeting with the adhoc committee, the representatives of the parents of the students appealed to Professor Obafunwa to use his good office to get the programme accredited by the NUC.
“It is a family affair, we know the VC can handle the situation. We are appealing to the school to do something about it. Let us find a solution to the problem. We are training the children out of our regular jobs,” said Mr. Ganiu Alokun, the Secretary of the forum.
But, the VC, in his response, said that he has done his best on the matter and that the parents should not appeal to him as this would make it appear as if he has the power to change the de-accreditation by the NUC.
“If they are begging me, they are giving the impression that the VC does not care about the case. We have tried to turn around the situation in LASU. I inherited backlog of honoraria and I cleared it. People now pay school fees on line and single treasury account started with LASU in 2012. No lecturer can hold the students to ransom and we took the power to negotiate marks away from the lecturers,” he said.
Speaking in an interview, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu said that the committee wants to find solution to the problem as the parents of the law students have brought a complaint about the 2014/2015 admission into the school’s law faculty.
He said that the parents complained that the students have not been admitted technically after they had got admission letters from JAMB and after passing post-UME exams.
“The students were screened and they have paid their school fees. Wee will report to the House with our recommendations after the whole,” he said.
According to him, “the university claimed that the law programme was not accredited due to the crisis in the university, when the accreditation team came calling.
He said that the NUC has since inspected the facilities at the school, but that the result has not been released, adding that the last time NUC went for accreditation in the university was in 2012 and that the state government has actually provided facilities for law programmes in the school.
The committee however adjourned its meeting with the management of the school on the issue to Thursday, 17 September, 2015, when the school’s management must have paid a visit to NUC office in Abuja on the matter.
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