……..vow to retaliate if excluded in ongoing admission
The embattled law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) under the aegis of Law Graduates Forum (LGF) had on Thursday petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged unending gimmicks being played by some persons to frustrate their admission into the Nigerian Law School for vocational training.
In a communiqué signed by Carl Umegboro and Ado Usman Garba; the group’s chairman and secretary respectively, the group lamented over the continued harassment by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) who were believably used by some interested persons to prevent them from embarking on peaceful protests as a way to silence them.
The group also accused the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) for executing a similar scripts by rejecting to give them audience and opportunity to be heard each time they attempted to cry out through the nation’s media outlet over the unending delay tactics which had caused unbearable hardships to them. The statements read;
“We, once again, express our profound gratitude for Your Excellency’s assent to the NOUN (Amendment) Act on the 7th December, 2018 with intention to resolve the protracted crisis on our admission into the Nigerian Law School since the first set graduated in 2013.
“Your Excellency, Sir, we however, regret to note that on the 7th day of December, 2019, the assent of the NOUN (Amendment) Act will be one year old. Yet, the innocent citizens that were persuaded by federal government to apply for admission into her institution; National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for accredited course of study are being frustrated since their graduation. (See Vanguard Newspaper of 28 November, 2019 at page 18).
“It may shock Your Excellency to know that apart from adopting sundry delay tactics to keep us waiting in perpetuity despite Your Excellency’s interventions, some interested persons have been using the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to harass us each time we made attempts to cry out through peaceful protests. So far, our leader had been summoned five times by the DSS to stop us from peaceful protests.
“Above all, Sir, there is also a standing order by some persons in high quarters to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN); a national media outlet to reject and not to report any development or issues regarding our law school admission plights as a way to make our voices not to be heard in addition to DSS harassments. Your Excellency may kindly investigate these claims as they may be acts of conspiracy and sabotage.
“However, we wish to make it categorically clear that our patience have worn out, and we will no longer sit and watch fresh graduates admitted into the Nigerian Law School for vocational training while we roam the streets. For emphasis, the law school students that were called to bar on 26 November, 2019 graduated from their various universities in 2018. Meanwhile, the 2013 set from NOUN are roaming the streets.
“Your Excellency, Sir, it is important to note that we applied for admission into NOUN following authorities’ conviction particularly the National Universities Commission (NUC) that NOUN’s Faculty of Law is accredited. Besides, the same federal government that established NOUN also owns the Nigerian Law School”.
The statement which drew President Buhari’s attention to a publication titled “Who is sabotaging NOUN and its law graduates” appealed for investigation of the allegations and once again prayed to President Buhari to ensure that the ongoing admission in the NLS does not exclude NOUN law graduates bearing in mind that they have been subjected to unbearable hardships and adversities for no just cause. The petition was copied to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.