Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Kayode Soremekun yesterday disclosed that the institution would offer the best Faculty of Law in the country about a decade after its establishment.
Soremekun, a visiting member of the Guardian Editorial Board, assured Nigerians seeking to pursue quality career in legal education that FUOYE was ready to make it accessible to them without unnecessary bottleneck and unbearable financial burden.
He gave this assurance yesterday when he received the leadership of the Council on Legal Education (CLE) in Oye Ekiti while inspecting and verifying facilities already put in place for the commencement of programmes in institution’s law faculty.
The Director General of the council, Prof. Isa Hayatu-Ciroma (SAN) led the team comprising the President of Council of Attorney-Generals in Nigeria, Mr Ibrahim Sanni Mohammed (SAN); a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Aminu Gadanya and a director in the CLE, Mrs Elizabeth Max-Uba, among others.
The council had granted accreditation to FUOYE in 2019 to begin the law faculty, which the vice chancellor promised to be the best in the federation, citing infrastructure and personnel already arrayed for its take-off.
During the assessment visit, Soremekun said FUOYE worked for the creation of the faculty to deepen access “to the legal profession and remove the fear of exclusiveness that people may erroneously have to pursue and make a career in the profession in Nigeria.”
To buttress the university’s position, the Vice Chancellor said some prominent legal icons “have asked me why we want to start law again in Ekiti knowing that Ekiti State University and Afe Babalola University are already established centres of training in the state.
“We want to serve that poor village boy and girl who cannot access such training in those places and deepen the penetration of legal training not only for Ekiti people, but across the federation and increase accessibility for the finest legal training that Nigeria can provide.”
The council had paid a verification visitation to the Federal University Oye Ekiti where it inspected facilities earmarked for the take-off of the university’s new faculty of law.
The CLE tour came on the heels of a similar visit by the officials of Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) who came for the accreditation of some engineering courses in the university.
The COREN delegation was led by the leader of its Accreditation Team, Baba Ankali who took good notice of FUOYE’s high quality manpower and teaching in all the engineering departments, as well as its efficient staff training and re-training programme.
Ankali said: “We noticed the highly committed and competent lecturers and technical staff, we observed the staff development scheme, particularly in sponsorship to acquire degree is in place.”.
The vice chancellor said in line with the tradition of FUOYE to always ensure excellence and quality in services and products and in order to prevent a sudden break in transmission after take-off which had happened to some universities in the past, the university had earnestly waited for the CLE’s verification visitation and endorsement, even though the school had long obtained the approval of the National University Commission to begin the law faculty.
He said: “My main concern is that you bring in students and there is an air of un-certainty. NUC has approved it, but CLE has not. That is why we have been waiting, praying earnestly for this day.”
The Director-General recalled previous efforts by FUOYE and pressure from the Nigerian Law School to bring him and his team to the university to see facilities and other preparations for the take-of the law school.
The COREN lauded the staff-student ratio of the university and also gave excellent remark on the number of laboratories available to students which he said was commendable and challenged the students to let this bear on the practical skills they bringing to employers after graduation.
He had earlier expressed serious concern about the gulf of difference that often play out where academically sound and excellent engineering graduates were unable to exhibit correlating practical skills when employed after graduation.