For the second time in a month, the Federal High Court sitting in Jos failed to commence hearing in a case brought before it by some parents of students in Unity Schools who are seeking reversal in a recent federal government increment in their wards’ school fees.
A court clerk on Wednesday announced to parents of the students of Unity Schools, and their lawyers who sat in the courtroom of Court II, that the trial judge, Musa Kurya was absence.
He conveyed the judge’s adjournment of the new date to commence hearing on December 2.
Fifteen parents, namely: Comrade Blessing Uzochukwu, Olusegun Adebayo, Bassey Oqua, Victor Ononua Iyere, Dogfre George, Grace George, Emeka Raphael, Earnest Okafor, Garba Mohammed, Pam Gangal, Chief D.U. Emenike, Edith Iloli, Bunmi Adisa, Isa Mohammed and Haruna Bulus Dauji had on September 9, filed a case against a recent federal government increment of fees in unity school.
In the particulars of claim filed by their counsel, Barrister Bitrus Fwangshak, the parents are seeking a declaration that the increment which shot up the fees from N20,000 to N75,000 is “unfair, oppressive, ill-timed, and meant to deprive millions of students from having access to qualitative and affordable education and thereby unlawful and illegal.”
They are also seeking a declaration that a circular by the Federal Ministry of Education is null and void and in violation of the constitution, just as they are seeking a declaration that the Federal Government College in Jos and other unity schools should stop implementing the circular containing the increment.
The led counsel, Barrister Fwangshak, who appeared with Barrister Ogbole Ogancha, expressed concerns that the judge’s continuous absence was delaying commencement of hearing.
He disclosed that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Minister of Education, and the Unity School have all been served as defendants one, two and three.
But there are no records at the court to show the defendants filed their memo of appearance, or statement of defence, or counter affidavit for the motion for an injunction.
There were no legal representatives for the three defendants in today’s sitting, and the previous one.