UNILAG renaming, noble but illegal ~ Afe Babalola

Published:31 May, 2012

Afe Babalola
Former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) yesterday said the renaming of the institution after the late Chief Moshood Abiola was “noble” but illegal.

He said before the decision to change the name was taken, no amendment was made to the provisions of the University of Lagos Act.

President Goodluck Jonathan usurped the powers of the National Assembly by not seeking its backing, he said.

According to him, even though the motive was noble, the Federal Government followed an unconstitutional procedure.

He said such a decision would have been better effected if proper attention had been given to the provisions of the Constitution and the University of Lagos Act.

Babalola, who was Abiola’s lawyer, added that President Jonathan’s powers as visitor to the university did not include changing its name without recourse to the National Assembly.

In a statement, the senior advocate said many notable Nigerians who championed the call for the immortalisation of Abiola’s contribution to the current democratic dispensation were appalled at the manner with which the government about its decision. 

“It is my view that things could have been better handled,” he said.

To him, while it is proper to give honour where it is due, such must be done in accordance with the law. 

“Afterall respect for the law is an integral part of democracy itself,” Babalola said, and called for a review of the decision. 

“It is my hope that the authorities concerned will review their position and take appropriate step to do things in a lawful manner. 

“That to my mind would be the greatest honour to the late Bashorun MKO Abiola.”

Describing the renaming process as faulty, Babalola said: “It is pertinent to state that I do not entirely agree with the manner in which the government has gone about its decision.  

“To my mind, a decision to honour the sacrifice of a man such as the Late Bashorun MKO Abiola required much more thoughtfulness and thoroughness than that which the current decision seems to display. 

“I take this view in the light of the obvious illegality and unconstitutionality of the decision to change the name of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.

 “The University is a creation of statute. 

“Everything relating to the University including its name, administration and control is provided and regulated by statute therefore necessitating that any action taken in respect of the University must comply with the provisions of the Law. 

“Therefore, the most important yardstick against which the decision must be measured is the provisions of the University of Lagos Act, Cap U9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“The Act provides for the establishment, incorporation and administration of the University among others. 

“Section 1 provides as follows: •’Incorporation and objectives of the University:

• There is hereby established a University to be known as the University of Lagos (in this Act referred to as “the University”) to provide courses of instruction and learning in the faculties of arts, law, medicine, science, education, commerce and business administration, engineering, and any other faculties which may, from time to time, be approved under this Act.

“•The University shall be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal.’

“The above reproduced section of the Law without equivocation states that the name of the University is ‘University of Lagos’. 

“This amply demonstrates that the name ‘University of Lagos’ is derived from an Act of the National Assembly.

“Any other name other than ‘University of Lagos’ would run contrary to the provisions of the Act.

“With the above in mind, it is not difficult to see that the name announced by President Jonathan is unknown to the University of Lagos Act. 

“This is so for the following reasons: Being an Act of the National Assembly, the provisions of the University of Lagos Act can only be amended by another Act of the National Assembly.

“Prior to the decision of the Federal Government to change the name of the University, no amendment was made to the provisions of the University of Lagos Act.  

“The decision of Mr. President ostensibly acting in concert with the Federal Executive Council, amounts to an usurpation of the powers of the National Assembly. 

“Section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended confers Legislative Powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the National Assembly which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.”

Besides, Babalola said the powers vested in the President as visitor had their limits.

“They do not empower him to unilaterally direct or effect a change in the name of the University. 

“I state this for the following reasons: The powers of the visitor are as expressly contained in the University of Lagos Act. 

“It is settled that where power is vested in any individual or body, such body or individual cannot exceed the powers which had been so vested. To do so would be to act ultra vires.

“A careful perusal of the provisions of Section 16 of the Act will reveal that the exercise of the powers vested in the visitor of the University must be consistent with the provisions of the Act. 

“This is the direct purport of Section 16(3)(b) which requires bodies and persons comprised in the university to give effect to the instructions of the visitor which are consistent with the provisions of the Act.

“Clearly, a unilateral change in the name of the university from that stated in Section 1 of the Act cannot under any guise, be regarded as consistent with the provisions of the Act…

 “The powers vested in President Jonathan under Section 16 of the University of Lagos Act are not wide enough to support the decision of the Federal Government to change the name of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.”

The Nation

  • Ahmed @alpha1marine

    Omg! How did we ended up with GEJ?

  • Alagbe Muyideen

    GEJ should just toe the path of honour, reverse this decision. Bt am sure he knws wat his doing.

  • FM

    It is a disgrace to act without law that govern a nation,been a

  • FM

    It is a disgrace to act without law that govern a nation,been a Dr do

  • FM

    He needs a good adviser in his cabinet,may be those in his office are famers only God knows.but despite this he need spiritual healing, ever since he has been supporting other nearby country(s)
    By sending troops, whereas bokoharam hv been killing many pple,since then I bliv his not capable of managing a nation wit his cabinet.pls GEJ were u not tot hw to follow protocol or an Act during ur days?pls reverse ur order.thank u.

  • Nike

    What do expect from a president that has only niger delta militants as ADVISERS

  • http://Website KWGioSlSFe

    buy xanax online cheap no prescription xanax vs vicodin effects – xanax 0.25 mg effects

  • http://Website ICyzKtDjda

    where to buy ambien online ambien 40 mg erowid – ambien cr online no prescription

  • http://Website CSAowPkjiz

    diazepam half life diazepam system drug test – 5mg diazepam for dogs

  • http://Website cfDWNEKomQ

    can you buy valium online order valium no prescription – buy valium online no prescription canada

  • http://Website RroyOAFbXD

    soma for sale back medication soma – canadian online pharmacy+soma

Related Posts

Recent Posts

EU Pledges $50 Million To Fight Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to redouble efforts and ensure that Boko Haram is completely defeated, and rendered incapable of targeting even soft targets.  This pledge by the Nigerian President comes as the European Union has promised the sum of 50 million dollars to assist Nigeria in the fight against the terror group. German President, Mr Joachim Gauck, made the pledge on behalf of the EU after holding bilateral talks with President...

EFCC Declares Tompolo Wanted

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday declared a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, wanted. The anti-graft agency in an advertorial signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it declared Tompolo wanted following two bench warrants issued against him by a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he has been charged with N45.9bn fraud. In the said advertorial which carried a photograph...

2016 Budget Fraud: Reps Block Ministry’s Controversial N1 Billion Allocation

The budget defence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, ended in a stalemate over controversial allocations to the ministry. There are proposals of N1.07 billion for “optic fibre and satellite space segment” and N50 million for “global communication network computer” in the ministry’s budget. The budget was presented by the minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday. Both budget subheads are meant for a global communication...

Supreme Court Dismisses Aisha Al-Hassan’s Appeal

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Aisha Al-Hassan. In a judgment delivered by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the Apex Court held that the appeal lacked merit and substance. The Apex Court upheld the Appellate Court’s verdict which had earlier dismissed the petition on the grounds that the APC and its governorship candidate cannot question the nomination of Governor Darius Ishaku as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party...

TSA enhancing autonomy, research, transparency in tertiary institutions – Emmanuel Agha

At no point in the history of contemporary Nigeria has government been able to fully account for all its funds, at once, from a single consolidated view, until now. Thanks to the Treasury Single Account, TSA, which makes this possible. The TSA initiative is not only to the advantage of the federal government and its agencies, but to the benefit of the entire Nigerian populace. This is why it often comes as a surprise when unnecessarily jabs...

Supreme Court Affirms Ishaku As Taraba Governor

The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed that Mr Diarus Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Taraba.   The Justice Bode-Rhodes Vivor-led six justices of the Supreme Court held that the appeal lacked merit.   "We have studied and reviewed the submissions of all the counsel to parties in this appeal and found that there is no merit in the appeal. The decision of the Court of Appeal on this matter is hereby...

Free Feeding: Kaduna Govt Sacks Headmaster, Suspends 2 Others For Diverting Pupils’ Biscuits, Oranges

The Kaduna State Government has sacked two senior education officials and suspended two others for diverting food meant for the feeding of primary school pupils. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Shehu Adamu, said at a news briefing in Kaduna on Thursday, that the officials had circumvented laid down procedures of the government’s Schools Feeding Programme, which commenced in January. “A School Support Officer in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area (LGA), Ibrahim Abdullahi has been...

Consumer Protection Council Orders MTN To Pay 1.85m Naira To Promo Winner

CPC has directed MTN Communications Limited to pay 1.85 million Naira to one of the winners of its Ultimate Wonder Promo for lack of due diligence. The order of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) came on the heels of a complaint brought by Mr Omeje Fidelis against the mobile telecommunications giant that he had been underpaid after he was declared winner of two million Naira in the said sales promotion held in 2012 According to Omeje, he participated in...

I Refused To Give Future My Number, Later He Became Famous – Victoria Kimani

In a interview with YFm's Dj Sabby, Kenyan born Chocolate City artiste, Victoria Kimani, revealed how future tried to holla but she blocked him. I never got his number, never really gave him a chance, to really holla at me. I felt really messed up about it later and like years later, he ended up being future.

President Buhari Receives German President In Abuja #Photos

President Buhari received the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, at the state house, Abuja today Feb 11th. See more photos below...

Kendall Jenner Sues Skincare Company For $10m For Using Her Face Without Permission

The 20 year old model is suing a skincare company called Cutera for $10milion with claims that they used her face and name to advertise their Laser acne treatment taking without her permission. The advert in question features a photo of Kendall and claims their products and treatments improved her skin. The ad reads - "Acne "completely ruined" Kendall Jenner's self esteem" TMZ reports that the documents in the...

U.S Embassy Condemns Attack On IDP Camp Dikwa

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria has condemned the suicide attack on the Internally Displaced Persons in Dikwa town, Borno state which has left over 51 persons dead and scores injured.   A statement from the Public Affairs section in the Information Office of the Embassy at the Federal Capital Territory says the United States remains committed to assisting the Internally Displaced Populations in the North-east through humanitarian relief...

FG Inaugurates $160m World Bank SME Fund

Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah on Tuesday unveiled a $160 million (about N49.2 million) World Bank powered scheme to improve access to finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in order to boost employment in the country. Also launched, an online vehicle to properly execute the programme was the Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) platform. BIG is landmark initiative of the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, which is...

Germany Seeks Favourable Investment Environment In Nigeria

The visiting President of Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Joachim Gauck, has advised the Nigerian Government to create the right investment environment for more German businesses. Gauck made the call in Lagos at a reception held for him and members of delegation of German Parliament and German companies that visited Abuja and Lagos. The German President, who expressed satisfaction at the successes so far...

Fire Guts NPC Headquarters In Abuja

A mid-day fire outbreak, yesterday, gutted  the headquarters of the National Population Commission (NPC), in Abuja. The fire incident which was caused by a faulty air conditioner affected the training unit on the ground floor of the complex. In a statement signed by Mr Simon Otene, director, public affairs, NPC, at the time of the fire outbreak, technical staff of the commission were undergoing in-house capacity building training. He said some furniture items, office...

Mexican Crime Reporter’s Half-Naked, Bound Body Found By Side Of Road

Half-naked, bound and with a plastic bag over her head,was how they found the body of a Mexican crime reporter who was murdered after being abducted by 8 armed men wearing military uniforms. Mother-of-two, Anabel Flores Salazar, who was a journalist for the newspaper El Sol de Orizaba, was snatched from her home by men with guns claiming they had a warrant for her arrest.

EFCC Seizes N5bn Houses Of Ex-NAF Chief, Amosu, Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized houses and other properties belonging to the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd.), and other senior military officers worth N5bn.  senior EFCC official, who did not want his name in print, told our correspondent that the suspects and others were cooperating fully with the anti-graft agency. The source in Abuja, said, “We have sealed a block of 12 luxury flats, located on...

Colonel Adegbe, ADC To Ex-President Jonathan Arrested – Report

Nigerian authorities have arrested Colonel Ojogbane Adegbe, a former Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to former President Goodluck Jonathan over an issue we are yet to ascertain as at press time. Colonel Ojogbane Adegbe A usually credible source familiar with...

Naira Crashes Further, Now N318 To A Dollar

The naira on Wednesday continued its fall against the Dollar on the parallel market, closing at 318 against the United States dollar. It was the third time in three days the naira would experience a drop. The currency, which was traded at 310 for a dollar on Monday and 313 on Tuesday, crashed again on Wednesday against the dollar, amid dwindling liquidity and now sells for N318.

NBA Accuses Buhari Of Plot To Intimidate Judiciary

The Nigerian Bar Association has condemned in strong terms the recent criticism of the judiciary in the fight against corruption. Speaking at the valedictory session organised in honour of a retiring Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mohammed Muntaka-Coomassie, NBA President, Augustine Alegeh, said the recent attack directed at the judiciary over the ongoing anti-corruption war was unacceptable. “The NBA condemns in its entirety the generalisation and/or categorisation of the Judiciary as being corrupt and...

NLC Calls On Nasarawa Govt. To Implement Full Benefits

The Organised Labour are asking the Nasarawa State Government to pay civil servants full January salaries and to implement all promotions with benefits from two thousand and eleven to date among other demands. The ongoing strike is predicated on twenty one point demands which after five extensive meetings between the government and the Organised Labour has been trimmed to fourteen. Addressing journalists in Lafia, the State Head of Civil Service, Joseph Ancho says the government...