The Council of Legal Education has adjudged the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, the best in the country, based on the cumulative performance of its products in the 2014 Bar Final Examinations of the Nigerian Law School.
The Council’s verdict was contained in the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee it set up to assess the performance of students at the August 2014 Bar Final Examinations. The Ad-Hoc Committee was headed by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye.
Other members were Prof. J. A. M. Audi, representative of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Prof. E. S. Olarinde, Provost, College of Law, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti; Dr. Y. M. Yusuf, the Dean of Law, University of Maiduguri; Mr. Emeka Obegolu, representative of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Prof. M. O. U. Gasiokwu, the Dean of Law, Delta State University, Abraka; Mr. S. A. Osamolu, the Director/Head of Academic, Nigerian Law School; and Mrs. M. M. Stanley-Idum, the Deputy Director (Academic), Nigerian Law School.
According to the Committee’s Report, a copy of which was made available to Unilorin Bulletin, students from the University of Ilorin Law Faculty beat products of other universities’ Law Faculties in the Bar Examinations. Other universities in the top five category are the University of Lagos (2nd), the University of Ibadan (3rd), the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (4th) and the University of Uyo/Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (5th).
In the 2012 and 2013 Bar Final Examinations, the University of Ilorin consistently came second. And apart from the University of Lagos that has closely run neck-to-neck with Unilorin in the last three years, coming fifth in 2012, and third in 2013, no other University appeared consistently on the Top 5 Table in the three years under review.
For instance, Babcock University that led the pack in 2012 has not returned to the Top 5 Table since then. Likewise, the University of Ado-Ekiti that came first in 2013 is not even listed among the top 5 in 2014.
The Report noted that while some universities have consistently been in the bottom 5, the University of Ilorin and the University of Lagos have consistently been in the top 5 in the last three years with Ilorin coming clearly ahead even in consistency rating.
This Ad-Hoc Committee was set up in response to growing worries over poor performance of Law students from various Faculties of Law from different Nigerian Universities. It was charged with the duty to review the result of the last Bar Final Examination vis-a-vis the performance of different Law Faculties; examine the teaching methods and facilities available for use at the Nigerian Law School and identify reasons why some campuses perform better than others; as well as examine the performance of students over the past five years so as to make comparative analyses, among others.
In its findings, the Committee noted that the “inability of various Faculties of Law to have uninterrupted academic activities in a Semester as prescribed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for LL.B students contributed to declining standards”. It added that “in a bid to meet the Nigerian Law School calendar, some Faculties of Law abridged their programme to compensate for incessant strike actions and other disruptions”.
Meanwhile, the Ag. Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Dr. I. A. Yusuf, has described the achievement of his Faculty as a “collective sense of fulfillment”, adding that this achievement is a vindication of the dedication of the staff and students of the Faculty and their common and collective determination to uphold the vision of the University of Ilorin to become a Centre of Excellence.”
Dr. Yusuf said, “This success would not have been possible without the continuous support and attention our Faculty always receives from the University management”.