The suit filed by some students of the University of Lagos challenging the move by President Goodluck Jonathan to change the name of the University of Lagos was stalled today following the failure of the Federal Government and other respondents to file their reply to the suit.
This development made the presiding judge, Justice Steven Adah of the Federal High Court, Lagos to restate his earlier order that all parties should maintain status quo on the matter.
Justice Adah reiterated that the order would subsist throughout the period of hearing and final determination of the suit challenging the propriety of renaming the university through a broadcast by President Jonathan on the 29th of May, 2012.
Meanwhile lawyers to the respondents, Taiwo Osipitan representing the University of Lagos and the Council of the University, Titi Akinlawon representing the Senate of the University, J. J Usman representing the Federal Government and Helen Obayagbon representing the National Assembly all pleaded for more time to file their replies.
Following no opposition to the request from the counsel to the students, Wole Olanipekun, the judge adjourned the matter till September 21, 2012 to enable all the processes to be before the court.
The judge also ordered that the suit filed separately by the alumni association and the students should be consolidated.
The National President and Secretary of the Alumni Association of the university, Olayide Abass and Femi Olatunji, respectively, on behalf of the association, instituted the suit seeking nine reliefs as those contained in the one filed by the students.
The seven students suing on behalf of the entire students of the university are, Ogunmola Olajide, Olawaye Elijah, Boatman Eniekenemi, Mathias Abraham, Asimiyu Ayodeji, Banjo Omojomi and Balogun Ismalia.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that “the pronouncement of the President of Republic of Nigeria in his national broadcast of May 29, 2012 to the effect that ‘the University of Lagos is renamed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever and howsoever.”
They are also seeking an order of injunction, restraining “the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the fourth defendant (the Attorney General of the Federation) either by itself or acting through any of its agencies, organs, person or persons howsoever from renaming or changing the name of the University of Lagos with the name Moshood Abiola University pursuant to the national broadcast of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2012 and/or giving effect in any manner whatsoever to the said broadcast.”
Among other orders being sought by the plaintiffs is one restraining the university and its Council from complying with the President’s broadcast and another restraining the Senate of the university 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.”