In a significant move impacting legal education in Nigeria, the Council of Legal Education (CLE) has announced a 5-year moratorium on law admissions at Baze University Abuja. This decision comes after consistent violations of the approved admission quotas by the university.
Unprecedented Excess in Law Student Admissions
Founded by the Labour Party’s presidential running mate Yusuf Datti-Ahmed, Baze University has been grappling with a significant issue: an overwhelming backlog of law graduates. As per the Nigerian Law School’s recent statement, since 2017, the university has admitted over 750 law students. This figure starkly overshadows the sanctioned limit of 50 students per session – a quota that would typically span 15 years to fill.
Deviation from National Standards
Adding to the severity of the situation, Baze University also implemented a 3-year law degree program for some candidates, in contrast to the nationally accredited 5-year benchmark curriculum. This deviation from the standard academic framework set by the National Universities Commission (NUC) further compounded the university’s non-compliance issues.
Impact of the Moratorium
The CLE’s decision to impose this moratorium is not without its consequences. While it aims to resolve the backlog and ensure compliance, there is a recognition of the impact on innocent or unsuspecting students and their families. This aspect has led to some criticism of the council’s decision. However, officials have emphasized the importance of maintaining regulatory oversight, assuring that the fate of the affected students will be considered.
Oversight and Future Compliance
The Acting Secretary and Director of Administration of the Nigerian Law School, Ms Aderonke Osho, highlighted the findings of the Accreditation Panel to the Faculty of Law at Baze University. These findings underscored the university’s consistent breach of admission protocols. In response, the Council of Legal Education plans to use the moratorium period to explore solutions for the excess admissions and will conduct follow-up visits to assess the university’s remedial actions.
Advisory to Stakeholders
The CLE’s resolution has been communicated to key stakeholders, including the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), as well as parents, guardians, and prospective students. The council seeks to inform them about the current status of Baze University Abuja and its Faculty of Law, urging caution and awareness.
This development represents a crucial moment in Nigeria’s legal education landscape. The CLE’s decision underscores the importance of adhering to academic standards and quotas, balancing the need for quality education with regulatory compliance. The coming years will be pivotal in determining how Baze University addresses these challenges and the broader implications for legal education in Nigeria.
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