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UNILAG students sue FG for name change

By Newsscreen On June - 5 - 2012

Students of the University Of Lagos have dragged President Goodluck Jonathan before a Federal High Court in Lagos for renaming the university.

In his Democracy Day broadcast, the President announced that the University of Lagos would be known as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.

The case is before Justice Mohammed Liman. Hearing of the matter has been fixed for July 10, 2012.

In the originating summons, the students, numbering 10, are seeking for a declaration that the University of Lagos being a creation of an act of the National Assembly, cannot be governed except in accordance with the provisions of the University of Lagos Act, 1967.

The students are seeking a declaration that power to change or amend the name of University of Lagos, being a corporate body having perpetual succession with common seal as provided under the University of Lagos Act 1967(as amended), belongs to the National Assembly.

They have sought the court’s order declaring that the announcement contained in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s May 29, 2012 broadcast changing the name of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, is unconstitutional, ultra vires, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

The students put forward two questions before the court for determination which are: whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his capacity as the visitor to University of Lagos has the power under the University of Lagos Act, 1967, to unilaterally change the name of the institution to Moshood Abiola University.

“Whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the exercise of the executive powers of the federation vested in him in Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can unilaterally change the name of University of Lagos without recourse to the National Assembly.”

In an 11-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by one of the students, Sunday Asaolu, of the institution’s Faculty of Law, it was averred that the unilateral change of the name of the University of Lagos sent great alarm and panic to the entire community of the institution.

Besides, it was stated that the alarm and panic generated led to spontaneous protests.

Asaolu further averred that the protests had led to the suspension of all academic activities and the sending home of the students with its attendant costs to all the students.

The students who filed the suit are Sunday Asaolu, Julius Ayoola, Idowu Odumosu, Seyi Olowu and Oladapo Obasa.

Others are Idowu Awopeju, Adebanjo Sunday, Femi Omotosho, Segun Ogunjobi and Aiyelabola.
From Punch by MOTUNRAYO ABODERIN

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