The ongoing controversy regarding the recent 5-year ban placed on Baze University’s Faculty of Law by the Council of Legal Education responsible for the management of the Nigerian Law School has taken a new twist.

This is as recent findings disclose that the current Minister of Education, Mamman Tahir was at helm of affairs in the school as Vice Chancellor when the alleged infraction by the school’s law faculty occurred.

According to reports, the imposition of the ban by the Law School was sequel to the findings of the Council of Legal Education which showed that the university’s Law Faculty was currently having a backlog of over 347 law students waiting to be admitted into the Nigerian Law School.

The Acting Secretary and Director of Administration of the Nigerian Law School, Ms Aderonke Osho, made this known in a statement made available to journalists on Friday.

An investigation by TheNigeriaLawyer however revealed that Mamman Tahir, the Minister of Education was the Director of the Nigerian Law School between 2005-2013, and subsequently held the position of Vice Chancellor at the Abuja-based University until his recent appointment by the Federal government.

This revelation therefore places a dent of complicity and culpability on the Honourable Minister as the regulations of the law school were fragrantly violated under his rein as Vice Chancellor despite himself being a Fmr DG of the Nigerian Law School.

The flagrant violation of admission quotas by Baze University gives credence to calls for a thorough probe of the circumstances that encouraged such disregard of regulations by an academic institution. Given previous oversight duties, the Education Minister, Mamman Tahir, may shed light by clarifying events during his tenure to unravel key personalities who prodded the illegality.

However, allegations of a witch hunt seem farfetched considering the Minister now belongs to the ruling party unlike the owner of Baze University who is a vice presidential candidate under Labour Party. But as the Igbo adage goes, the rat at home often hints outsiders of available food. Mamman Tahir thus owes some explanation regarding clues he unwittingly left that made the university exceed its admission thresholds so brazenly.

Additionally, further questions linger on the role of current Baze law faculty Dean, Prof Agbo Madaki, under whose supervision this student logjam piled up. Suspicions abound regarding the possibility of entrenched interests at Baze deliberately influencing willful disobedience to Law School admission quotas.

Meanwhile, questions abound on why it took so long for the Council of Legal Education to investigate and finally wield the big stick against serial abuse spanning over a decade since Baze University opened its law faculty in 2011 with just 5 students. Records indicate it currently has over 400 law undergraduates despite exceeding approved quotas consistently over the years before the belated sanctions. These issues require answers to unravel the full truth.

If indeed leader after leader at Baze endorsed bending rules for financial or political incentives, there must be consequences. It is hoped the issue is not just swept under the carpet but thorough and extensive investigations be carried for all culpable parties and individuals to be unveiled.

In unravelling the truth, the Education Minister may offer the best lead by clarifying events under his regulating and subsequently academic leadership tenures. After all, as the Igbo proverb instinctively states – the in-house rat leaked news of available food to outsiders. Minister Tahir must account for the clues he left that made the school enormously deviate from Law School admission quotas.

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