25 June 2012

Nigeria: Court Restrains Jonathan From Renaming UNILAG

Photo: Vanguard
University of Lagos student protest.

Lagos — The attempt by President Goodluck Jonathan to rename University of Lagos, UNILAG, to Moshood Abiola University, MAU, Monday suffered a set back as a Lagos Federal High Court restrained him from effecting the change.

In the suit instituted by seven students of the University, trial judge, Justice Steve Adah also barred the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from

deliberating on the proposed bill of renaming the institution pending before the lawmakers. He ordered that parties in the matter should maintain status quo while the suits challenging the renaming of the school lasted.

Our correspondent recalls that some students of the institution and the alumni filed separate suits questioning the reason for renaming the university through May

29,2012 broadcast by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the University of Lagos, its Council, the Senate of the University. Others are the Attorney-General of the Federation and the National Assembly of the Republic of Nigeria.

Mr. Afolabi Fashanu,SAN,who represented the two applicants urged the court to give an an interim order in order to maintain the status quo on the matter.

According to him, the application for the order was urgent because the Federal Government was desperate to give effect to the presidential pronouncement.

During today's proceeding, the two defence counsel, one of whom was representing the University of Lagos and the Council of the University of Lagos, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, and the other representing the Senate of the University of Lagos, Mrs. Titi Akinlawon, SAN, did not oppose the request of the applicants' counsel.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, and the National Assembly (the fourth and fifth defendants) were not represented by any counsel.

It was however confirmed by the plaintiffs' counsel that all parties in the suits had been served with the court processes.

The judge, however, directed that the two suits be harmonised and adjourned the matter to July 4 for hearing.

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