The Directorate of State Security (DSS) on Wednesday met with the Chairman, Law Graduates Forum (LGF) of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) over a proposed nationwide protest by members of the Forum.
Mr Carl Umegboro, Chairman LGF, briefed newsmen after the meeting with the Director-General, Mr Lawal Daura, which held at the DSS headquarters in Abuja .
Umegboro said the DSS got a tip on the law graduates’ proposed nationwide and invited them for a chat.
He said the proposed protest and civil unrest followed the students’ continued delay in getting admission quota for vocational training in the Nigerian Law School five years after their graduation.
Umegboro stated that the meeting was a cordial and proactive measure towards finding a permanent solution to the crisis, which had brought untold hardship to the NOUN law graduates and capable of threatening national security.
According to him, documents presented at the meeting include the certified true copy of the judgment by which the court hands-off the matter to the academia to resolve and the forum’s subsequent correspondences to the three academic bodies.
“The bodies include the National Universities Commission (NUC), Council of Legal Education (CLE) and the Federal Ministry of Education.
“Unfortunately, the issue has remained untreated and the predicament has advanced to multidimensional discriminations.
“Particularly, the state and federal universities’ rejections of NOUN law graduates for Master of Laws (LL.M) degree programme, while awaiting the resolution of the crisis.”
Umegboro frowned at the nonchalant attitude of the three academic bodies in resolving the misunderstanding despite the judgment of Justice Hilary Oshomah of the Federal High Court Port-Harcourt, Rivers on October 4 ,2017.
According to him, the judgment unfortunately followed the decision of the Court of Appeal in Albert Omobolaji v University of Ibadan & Anor (2012) LPELR 7825.
It states: “All academic matters should be left in the hands of academicians to handle in their own wisdom and expertise upon, which the benefit of the doubt should be given them based on their sense of judgment”, alongside his reliance on the ‘Correspondence’ hitherto used in the Act. ”
Umegboro said he was not happy with the judgment, saying the court unconsciously renounced its jurisdiction on all academic and students’ matters.
According to him, it impliedly emboldens students that face any form of victimizations or oppression with authorities to resort to self-helps, which may not augur well for the society.
Umegboro, who was accompanied by the group’s Asst. Secretary, Mr Adegoke Agunlejika stated that the DSS boss, who was represented by Mr Abiola Akeem, promised that he would study their reports and give advicesaccordingly.
Adegoke said the DSS boss, however, pleaded with the graduates to continue to maintain peace and order as the Federal Government was deeply concerned over their predicament.
DSS and Force Headquarters (FCID) met with the LGF chairman on April 20, 2017 in Abuja for a dialogue after the forum issued a notice of nationwide protests over their victimization by the relevant bodies.
The protests was subsequently suspended after appeals by the security agencies to allow them intervene for amicable resolution of the crisis with regard for peace and national security.