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NBA, Council of Legal Education kick against alleged bid by Senate to proliferate law schools

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The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Council of Legal Education CLE, two lawmakers and some stakeholders on Monday in Abuja kicked against the move by the Senate to create new six law schools in addition to the existing seven.

They warned that legal education in the country should not be politicised by the Senate in its new move..

Specifically, they said that the function of establishing law schools is vested in the Council of Legal Education and that such power should not be usurped by the National Assembly.

Stiff opposition against the move for additional law schools in each of the geo-political zones, came to the fore at the public hearing organised on a bill seeking for its establishment and two others by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The Senate committee, chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), had at the public hearing sought for inputs from critical stakeholders on the legislative proposal titled: “Legal Education (Consolidated etc, Amendment ) Bill 2021” but got unfavorable submissions from them.

First to pick holes in the bill were Senators Ike Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West) and Seriake Dickson (PDP Bayelsa West) who called on their colleagues to be cautious on the proposal.

Ekweremadu in particular warned against politicising legal education, saying “establishment of new campuses or law schools should be left at the discretion of Council for Legal Education as empowered by the Act that set it up in 1962.”

Also opposing the proposed piece of legislation, the National President of NBA, Olumide Akpata, said the move was unnecessary as the existing six law schools were grossly underfunded before the intervention of Rivers State government with a well equipped campus in Port Harcourt.

“With required infrastructure, the existing law schools across the country are enough to accommodate thousands of law students graduating from the various universities.

“The Council for Legal Education is the institution empowered by law to set up a new campus on the basis of need assessment and not political considerations driving the move for establishment of additional six across the six geo-political zones.

“Besides, resources of the federal government which are wearing out, cannot help in putting in place such campuses let alone sustaining them.

“What is required from the Senate and by extension the National Assembly , is to by way of Appropriation, team up with the executive for adequate funding of the existing law schools,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, chairman of the Council for Legal Education, Emeka Ngige said the council is 100% opposed to it.

The position of the council, he lamented, arose from the deplorable condition of most of the existing ones now due to gross underfunding.

“For instance, the deplorable condition in which students at the Yenagoa law campus are studying, is worse than what prisoners in Ikoyi Prison are experiencing,” he said.

He pointedly told the lawmakers that they will shed tears if they visit some of the existing campuses and see the deplorable conditions in which students and lecturers are living.

“The move by the Senate through this bill is more or less a subtle usurpation of the functions of the Council for Legal Education.

“Any need for establishment of a new law school campus are by law, be routed through the Council for Legal Education as exemplified by the Rivers model,” he stressed.

However, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi West), Senator Abiodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South), Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central), Femi Falana, John Bayeshes, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN
argued for establishment of the proposed law schools for accessibility of legal education by concerned knowledge seekers.

Earlier, chairman of the committee explained that the bill seeks to amend the extant Act in order to make provision for increase in the number of the Nigerian Law School campuses from the current six to 12 with one additional campus in each of the geo-political zone.

Senator Bamidele noted that many students struggle to secure admission into the Law School for them to qualify as legal practitioners in the country.

He said the move was to cater for the upsurge in the application for intake into the Law School on yearly basis, adding that “this amendment will also bring about reform in the legal education and encourage conducive learning environment for both the students and teachers at the Nigerian Law School.”

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BREAKING: Lagos govt shuts Dowen College in Lekki over Sylvester Oromoni’s death

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Sylvester Oromoni

Lagos State Government has ordered the closure of Dowen College in Lekki over the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

The school will remain shut pending the outcome of an investigation.

Oromoni was allegedly murdered by students and there are fears that the culprits are on the run or left the country.

Gory details of the act have sparked outrage on social media with Nigerians demanding the arrests of the perpetrators.

On Friday, Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo announced the seal of the college.

A terse statement by the ministry’s spokesman, Ganiu Lawal, quoted her as saying state officials met with the school management and staff.

Adefisayo appealed for calm, saying “no effort will be spared in getting to the root of the incident”.

Sylvester Oromoni

BREAKING: Lagos govt shuts Dowen College in Lekki over Sylvester Oromoni’s death

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2021 World Disability Day: We suffer discrimination to get employment in Kogi – PWDs

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People With Disabilities (PWDs) have cried out over discrimination in employment for Ministries Department and Agencies in Kogi State.

Kogi State Chairman of PWDs, Comrade Ibrahim Arome, who disclosed this on Friday against the backdrop of the 2021 World Disability Day lamented that many of his members have been denied employment opportunities even when they have the capacity to deliver.

Arome, who noted that there is ability in disability, called on the Kogi State Government to implement the disability rights law to address some of these challenges affecting his people.

He added that there is a need for the government to establish the disability commission to enable PWDs to have a sense of belonging in the state.

Arome explained further that PWDs lack mobility in the state stressing that the special schools across the state have been abandoned by the government thereby making education difficult for their members as the existing public schools in Kogi State are not accessible.

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“We use this year’s celebration to appeal to the executive Governor Alh. Yahaya Bello kindly implement the disability right law and establish a disability commission in Kogi state. Governor Yahaya Bello should kindly provide PWD’s with mobility (Bus) because to our special being, mobility is not for fashion but a necessity.

“We are also appealing that the Government should ensure that all the MDAs in Kogi state obeys and adheres to the disability Act 2018 and reserve at least 5% of every employment, empowerment and appointment for PWDs,” he said.

“The Kogi state Governor kindly gives immediate order through the appropriate quotas for the renovation of special skills schools across the state and equip them with the learning special materials and manpower to help reduce the risk of our special members traveling to other states to acquire education”.

In his lecture titled “Bringing out the abilities in persons with disability”, the Chairman, Southwest Nigeria Association of the Deaf, Mr. Sulaiman Akinremi, said more than 500 million people in the world are disabled as a consequence of mental, physical, or sensory impairment.

Akinremi said, “In the majority of these countries, it is estimated that 1 in 10 persons has a physical, mental or sensory impairment and at least 25% of the entire population is adversely affected by the presence of disabilities.

“It is also estimated that at least 75% percent of these people live in developing countries and living in areas where they do not receive the services needed to enable them to overcome their limitations. Disabled people in the developing world often face more acute barriers than those in developed nations mostly those living in Isolated rural areas in the developing world. In some countries 20% of the population are disabled.

“It can be estimated that, when disabled people’s relatives are included, 50% of the population is affected by disability. In addition, disabled people are the poorest of the poor. They often do not have access to adequate medical services and where such services exist, the medical personnel lacks the experience of their needs”.

He noted that any country or society that is on the path to greatness will need to take a pragmatic shift in its orientation about persons with disabilities and it will greatly influence whether persons with disabilities become assets or liabilities.

“PWDs faced a lot of challenges but they are not limited by their disabilities except those placed in their ways by government and society. Though people may doubt the capacity of PWDs to prove their abilities, they have often proved them wrong. They are able to take negativities and turn them into motivation and drive with their different abilities.

“The world is witnessing a rapid transformation in thoughts, concepts, and behaviours aimed at bringing about development. Government and society cannot afford to be left behind by clinging to outdated ideas or concepts inhibiting transformation by undervaluing the particularly important and leading roles PWDs have to play,” he added.

Earlier in her address, the Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba said the present administration has continued to give priority to PWDs in the state stressing that over 2000 People With Disabilities benefited from the N10,000 COVID-19 palliative in 2021.

Represented by the Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr. Aleni Emmanuel Allenclay, the Commissioner said, “Persons with disabilities are a very important segment of our population that requires special treatment.

“The Administration of new direction agenda under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello is working assiduously towards giving a new liaise of life to PWDs in the area of education, health care, empowerment, and legal support system as well as main streams them into the State Development Plan”.

DAILY POST reports that, on September 23rd, 2013, the UN General Assembly convened the historic high-level meeting on disability and development aimed at creating a fully disabled agenda inclusive society.

The 2021 World Disability Day has the theme “Leadership and Participation of PWDs towards an inclusive accessible and sustainable post-covid-19 world”.

DAILY POST also reports that the World Disability Day in Kogi State which was organized by, the leprosy mission Nigeria, Sightsavers, had in attendance, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prod James Apam, Kogi State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,(NSCDC), and the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State.

The day is celebrated on December 3rd every year.

2021 World Disability Day: We suffer discrimination to get employment in Kogi – PWDs

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US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

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A United States-based medical foundation with a branch in Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Adeel Foundation, also known as Shahnaz Shakeel Foundation, has donated a fully-equipped ambulance to the Benue State Government for use by Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

A representative of the Foundation in Nigeria, Mr. Terver Atsewe, who presented the ambulance to Governor Samuel Ortom Thursday, 2nd December 2021 at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi, said it is to be used in conveying sick people from the IDP camps to the hospitals.

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Mr. Atsewe who stated that the ambulance was equipped with the latest medical facilities such as gas cylinders and other first-aid facilities assured that more of such vehicles would be given to the state.

Receiving the ambulance, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to the foundation for the donation and assured that the ambulance would be utilized judiciously for the benefit of the IDPs.

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior led the representative of the foundation to the Governor for the presentation.

US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

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