Why Open University students can’t be lawyers— Law School D-G Adesola Onadeko

Filed in EDUCATION NEWS by on October 11, 2014 0 Comments

THE Nigeria Law School was established to provide legal and practical training for both foreign and Nigerian trained law graduates; 51 years down the line, will you say that the school has effectively achieved that purpose? I will say yes, and for good reasons too. From the modest beginning in January 1963, when the first set of eight students commenced training; if you do a little bit of arithmetic, you will realise that if those men were in their 20s, they will be approaching 80 years now. Some of them are still alive. One of them, Justice Ajuyah, was the President of the Customary Court of the defunct Bendel State. His son is the present Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Delta State. Others include Senator Oyiabo Obi and Justice Shonaike, who was Chief Judge of Ogun State. These are three members of that first set of the Law School that I know and with whom we are still in contact. When talking about the Law School fulfilling its mandate or fulfilling the dreams of its founding fathers, I will say that the school has produced personnel for an entire arm of government. Since judges have to be lawyers, it goes to say that it is the products of the Nigeria Law School that are manning the Judiciary arm of government. I am proud to say that today, our Judiciary is one that is essentially home-bred. From the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the product of the Nigeria Law School, to all the Justices of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal, all the judges of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judges of the 36 states high courts and all the personnel of Nigerian courts are all products of the Nigeria Law School. What more can we say? If you go to the executive arm of government, the Attorney General of the Federation, who is the official leader of the Bar is a product of the Nigeria Law School, as well as all the attorneys generals of the 36 states, among other individuals too numerous to mention.

If the Law School is traceable to all these functionaries some 51 years on, and the school is still growing strong, keeping pace with the rest of the world in our curriculum and in the subject that we expose our students to, then we must be doing well. We are mindful that we are training lawyers for the 21st century and things have changed since 1963. So, we are keeping pace with that. That is why our lawyers can go abroad and take the examination of the Bars of those countries and be enrolled to practise there. So, I am proud to say that we have come of age and needless to say that the dream of the forefathers and their vision has been fulfilled by this institution.

You became the Director-General of this institution in December 2013. What has been the experience so far? It has been an eventful experience. Apart from the headquarters of the school in Abuja, there are five campuses across the country. Coordinating what goes on in those campuses has been a very interesting experience, not only in terms of what they do daily, but also in the areas of admission of students and their deployment to campuses, preparation of these students for internship programme, law office and law courts attachment, debriefing them by way of portfolio assessment and the Bar final examination, which we concluded last month. For the first time in the history of the school, we conducted the final Bar examination by deploying ICT to the fullest. Questions were not taken by hand to any campus. We used ICT to transmit those questions and there was adequate security without incidents. Read full details Here

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