The Faculty of Law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has announced that some of its 2021 graduates will not be attending Law School, despite their legitimate qualifications.
Out of the 217 graduates from the 2021 Law Class who were cleared of any outstanding issues and officially graduated in November 2022, only 147 have been selected to proceed to the Nigerian Law School.
The decision to leave about 70 legitimate graduates behind has sparked outrage as the faculty intends to give preference to 73 members of the newly graduated 2022 final year class, who just defended their undergraduate projects two weeks ago. This 2021 class was originally set to graduate in 2021, but due to incessant strikes, their graduation was delayed to November 2022, resulting in a prolonged study period of 6+ years for a degree that should take 5 years.
Following the conclusion of the 2022 ASUU strike that lasted from February to October, the faculty rushed the 2021 graduates to complete their degree program in a little over one month to meet the Law School’s resumption dates in January 2023. Despite the tight timeline, the faculty failed to prepare the results of the 2021 Law Class for Law School on time.
Adding to the controversy, rumours circulate that an administrative waiver might allow the 2022 law class, who just finished their exams in July 2023, to gain priority admission to the Law School, leaving legitimate graduates waiting for another year without any proper explanation.
The impact of this decision has been devastating for the affected students. With no guarantee of admission in the future and their dreams of attending Law School shattered, they are left in a state of limbo. Additionally, many of these graduates are ineligible for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program, which further jeopardizes their career prospects.
One of the reasons behind this controversial decision is the administrative waiver that will allow the 2022 law class, who recently finished their exams in July, to secure priority slots for Law School admission. This move has raised questions about fairness and the lack of communication from the faculty towards the affected graduates.
The consequences of this decision are far-reaching. Students who have already spent six to seven years pursuing their law degrees are now at risk of losing another year, with no guarantee of admission to Law School in the future. Furthermore, these graduates are ineligible for the Nigerian Law School due to not having first-class or second-class upper degrees and may have to forego pursuing their careers as lawyers entirely.
The faculty’s criteria for selecting 73 students from the 2022 finalists, out of a class of over 340 students, remain unclear, leaving many in the dark about their fate. Graduates with extra years of study are also deeply affected, as they find themselves excluded from Law School despite meeting the quota expected by the Nigerian Law School.
In response to this situation, concerned individuals and alumni have called for equitable treatment, emphasizing that priority should be given to the first in time, and that students who have graduated with second-class lower degrees have successfully excelled at the Nigerian Law School in the past.
As of now, about 70 law graduates remain displaced from attending the Nigerian Law School, and the faculty has provided no explanation for this decision or any reassurance regarding future opportunities.
The Faculty of Law’s actions have stirred unrest and raised serious questions about fairness and transparency in the selection process for Law School admission. Graduates and supporters are urging the university’s administration to reconsider this divisive decision and provide a clear plan for addressing the concerns of the affected graduates.
The fallout from this controversy has the potential to create further chaos within the Faculty of Law at UNN, with many anxiously awaiting resolution and accountability from the authorities involved.