IF the Nigerian Law School is to satisfactorily carry out its mandate, lawyers must join the Federal Government to fund the institution.
This is the opinion of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mohammed Lawal Uwais, which prompted him to call on Nigerian lawyers to rescue the Nigerian Law School (NLS) from its financial challenges.
Justice Uwais made the call in Abuja at the weekend at a special dinner in honour of the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki and the Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel. The event was organised by the Class of 1986 of the school.
“With the creation of more campuses of the Nigerian Law School, sufficient funding by the Federal Government became a problem.
“Consequently, it (Law School) is not in a position to adequately exercise both its capital and recurrent projects. This is one area where old students of the school can render assistance,” he stated.
He noted that the multi-campus system was necessitated by increasing number of students who graduate from law departments of Nigerian universities who have to go to Law School before they can qualify to practise law in the country.
The former CJN recalled that “the Nigerian Law School came into existence in January 1963 with an intake of eight students. They did a three-month course. Mine was the third set of students who did the three-month course from October 1963 to Jan 1964. There were 127 students in my set. The Nigerian Law School has come a long way with intakes now running into thousands.
“So many campuses have been established since relocation from Lagos to Abuja in 1997. It is gratifying to know that your set, 1986 set, has been in the forefront of helping the school.
“I have been made to understand that the set has produced the highest number of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and it has three of its members serving as ministers in the current Federal Executive Council (FEC). This is by no means a modest achievement”, he added.
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, thanked Uwais for his role in the growth of the law practice in Nigeria.
He promised, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Mohammed Adoke and Obada that the three of them would do all within their powers to uplift the Class of 86 in their service to Nigeria as ministers.