10th November, 2021
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has described alleged bid by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege to establish a campus of Nigerian Law School in his village as most unfortunate and politically motivated.
Wike said this while reacting to a bill being considered in the National Assembly which seeks to establish two campuses of the Nigerian Law School in each of the geopolitical zone in Nigeria
He spoke during an unscheduled inspection of ongoing construction work at the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
According to the Rivers State Governor, the proponents of the bill titled, ‘A bill for an Act to amend the Legal Education (Consolidation etc.) Act by establishing the campuses for the Nigerian Law School, and for other related matters’ merely want to score cheap political point in their constituencies ahead of the 2023 general election.
Wike stated that the proposal in the Bill that in the South-South zone, one Law School campus should be in Yenagoa and another in the village of the Deputy Senate President, when approval had been given for the establishment of the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas campus in Port Harcourt, smacks of petty politics.
He added condemned what he described as an attempt by some Senators to politicise the establishment of Nigerian Law School campuses, even when there are glaring evidences that the Federal government cannot adequately fund the existing ones as unfortunate.
According to him, there is no way the Council of Legal Education will support politically induced proliferation of Law School campuses across the country.
“It is so unfortunate in this country that everything is being politicised. We are not perturbed because the Federal Government approved the establishment of this Law School.
“We got a letter from Mr President through the Honourable, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, approving the establishment of this Law School. And he stated graciously through the Council of Legal Education that it should be established here in Port Harcourt.
“We said we are going to provide all the necessary infrastructure. I can see the level of infrastructure that is being provided, which of course I have said before is going to be world class infrastructure that is supposed to be in a Law School.
“We are not only providing this infrastructure, we are also providing accommodation where the lecturers will live with all other things attached to it. And this Law School will have its own investment to take care of the Law School whether the government is here or not.
“From what I heard, the Deputy Senate President through some other lawmakers are sponsoring a bill to establish two schools per zone, and then saying that one will be in Yenagoa and one in Delta state, in the village of the Deputy Senate President. It is most unfortunate” he said.
Governor Wike noted that Law School is a highly technical institution that should be insulated from politics. He urged those behind the bill seeking the establishment of more Law School campuses to also bear in mind the cost of funding them.
“Today, to even fund one Law School, see how problematic it is. Go to the Abuja Law School, go to Yenagoa Law School, see how they are. And see what we are doing. It is not easy to fund the existing Law School and you are now saying that the Federal Government should establish two Law School in each zone. Where will the funding come from? Everything is being politicised.”
After his assessment of the progress of work at the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas campus, Wike expressed optimism that in the next six months, the brand new campus fully funded by the State government will be handed over to the Council of Legal Education for commencement of academic activities.
“The Council of Legal Education has said in the establishment of further Law School, Port Harcourt model must be used. This is not a place where you have a makeshift, where there are buildings before and then you want to adopt it and create a Law School . It is well designed.”
He said the Rivers State government has already provided 80 percent funding for the ongoing construction work at the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas campus and Certificate of Occupancy have been issued to the Council of Legal Education.