Students of University of Lagos (UNILAG) renamed by President Jonathan as Moshood Abiola University (MAU) have dragged the President before a Federal High Court in Lagos for renaming the university.
The students who filed the suit are Sunday Asaolu, Julius Ayoola, Idowu Odumosu, Seyi Olowu and Oladapo Obasa, Idowu Awopeju, Adebanjo Sunday, Femi Omotosho, Segun Ogunjobi and Aiyelabola
In the originating summons, the students asked the Federal High Court to declare that the power to change or amend the name of University of Lagos being a body corporate, having perpetual succession with common seal as provided under the University of Lagos Act 1967(as amended) belongs to the national legislatures.
The students are also praying the court to declare that the announcement contained in the President’s May 29, 2012, broadcast, changing the name of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, is unconstitutional, ultra vires, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
The two questions put before the court by the students for determination reads:
1. Whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his capacity as the visitor to University of Lagos has the power under the University of Lagos Act, 1967, to unilaterally change the name of the institution to Moshood Abiola University.
2. Whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the exercise of the executive powers of the federation vested in him in Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can unilaterally change the name of University of Lagos without recourse to the National Assembly.
In an 11-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by one of the students, Sunday Asaolu, of UNILAG’s Faculty of Law, it was averred that the unilateral change of the name of the University of Lagos sent great alarm and panic to the entire community of the institution.
Besides, it was stated that the alarm and panic generated led to spontaneous protests.
Asaolu further averred that the protests had led to the suspension of all academic activities and the sending home of the students with its attendant costs to all the students.
The case is before Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, hearing of the matter has been fixed for July 10, 2012.