*Cautions Parents, Students To Exercise Due Diligence In Choice Of institutions

The Council of Legal Education has reiterated its ban on Law graduates of the Houdegbe North American University, Cotonou, Benin Republic from being admitted into the Nigerian Law School.

The Council also advised parents and students to exercise due diligence in the choice of educational institutions “in order to avoid frustration at the end of the day.”

In a statement by the Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Max-Uba, on Friday, the Council said after its meeting to consider the appeals of the affected graduates on November 25, 2020, it resolved to sustain the ban imposed in 2015.

Part of the reasons for the ban, the Council said was that the university is domiciled in Civil Law jurisdiction yet its law faculty was offering Common Law courses only, and that the subjects of the programme were specifically designated Nigerian.

The Council also noted that the students of the school were 100% Nigerians and the language of instruction was English, whereas French is the lingua franca of Benin Republic, adding that “the lecturers were Nigerians drawn from faculties of law in the South West region of Nigeria, who were teaching there on part-time basis.”

“Information gathered from independent sources indicated that the university had no approval from the regulatory authority in that country to run a law programme in the university until 2016, after the decision was taken by the Council to suspend admission of its graduates to the Nigerian Law School,” the statement read.

“There are continuing concerns over substandard tertiary institutions in the West African sub-region, Benin Republic in particular, that target Nigerian students for commercial or monetary gains only.

“Although the Council has no regulatory control over institutions domiciled outside Nigeria, it is vested with powers to determine who is admitted into the Nigerian Law School and under which conditions.

“It also has the responsibility to ensure that candidates admitted to the Nigerian Law School have obtained the minimum standards in learning and have imbibed the basic tenets of the law.”

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