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Court reaffirms interim order on Unilag

04 July 2012, 15:29

Lagos - A Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Wednesday reaffirmed its interim order restraining the Federal Government from renaming the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University.

Justice Steven Adah made the reaffirmation while hearing two suits challenging the name change announced by President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29.

The judge held that the restraining order granted by the court on June 25, was alive and would subsist pending the hearing and determination of the suits.

He also ordered that the two suits, which were filed by UNILAG Alumni Association and some students of the university, should be consolidated into one.

Adah said that this was in line with the provisions of Order 11 Rule 1 (2) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules.

The judge said that the consolidation of the suits was in order in view of the similarities of the facts, the defendants and the relief sought by the plaintiffs.

The suit was instituted by Prof. Olayide Abass and Mr Femi Olatunji, National President and Secretary of the UNILAG Alumni Association, respectively.

Others joined as plaintiffs are seven UNILAG students; Ogunmola Olajide, Olawaye Elijah, Boatman Eniekenemi, Mathias Abraham, Asimiyu Ayodeji, Banjo Omojomi and Balogun Ismalia.

The defendants in the suit are the University of Lagos, the Council of the University of Lagos and the Senate of the University of Lagos.

Joined as defendants are the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Earlier in his oral application at Wednesday’s proceedings, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Wole Olanipekun, asked the court to consolidate the suits.

Olanipekun said the issues involved in the two cases are legally the same issues bothering on the name change.

``The reliefs and the defendants are also the same and in order to save time, we want to move for the consolidation of the suits.''

The defence counsel did not oppose the application, but informed the court that they had not filed their counter-affidavits in reply to the originating processes and therefore asked for an adjournment.

The judge adjourned the matter to Sept. 21, for hearing of the pending interlocutory application filed by Olanipekun.

Adah also ordered all the parties to file and serve their processes before the next adjournment date to enable the court begin the hearing of the suit.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the renaming of the university was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

They are seeking an order of injunction restraining the Federal Government or its agents from renaming the university or changing the name of the University of Lagos with the name Moshood Abiola University.

The plaintiffs asked the court to restrain the university and it’s Council from complying with the President's pronouncement.

They also asked the court to restrain the university's Senate from awarding or attempting to award any degree, certificate or Diploma of the University of Lagos in any name whatsoever (particularly Moshood Abiola University) other than the university of Lagos''.



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