JUSTICE Stephen Adah of the Federal High Court in Ikeja yesterday reaffirmed his interim order suspending the renaming of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos pending the determination of the motion on notice filed by the students, who challenged the Federal Government’s action.
The trial judge restated his earlier order that all parties should maintain the status quo following the failure of the defence counsel to file their reply to the student’s motion on notice.
However, the plaintiff counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) at the resume hearing yesterday made an oral application for a renewal of the order, which the court gave on June 25, 2012.
Counsel for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), who represented UNILAG and the institution’s Council and Mrs. Titi Akinlawon (SAN) representing the Senate of the university did not oppose the request.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) and the National Assembly, the fourth and fifth defendants, who were represented by J.J Usman and H. Obayagbon, did not also oppose the request.
Justice Adah ordered that the two suits filed by the alumni association and students of the university challenging the propriety President Goodluck Jonathan’s action in renaming the school through a national broadcast should be consolidated.
He therefore adjourned the matter till September 21, 2012 to enable the defence counsel file their reply to the motion on notice by the students.
The National President and Secretary of the Alumni Association of the university, Prof. Olayide Abass and Femi Olatunji in that order, on behalf of the association, instituted the suit seeking nine reliefs as those contained in the one filed by the students.
The first suit was instituted by seven students on behalf of the entire student body of the university.
The reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are the declaration that “the pronouncement of Jonathan to the effect that the University of Lagos is renamed by the Federal Government as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever and howsoever.”
They also sought an order restraining the government represented by the fourth defendant (the AGF) from renaming or changing the name of the university pursuant to the national broadcast of President on May 29, 2012 and/or giving effect in any manner whatsoever to the said broadcast.
Other prayers of the plaintiffs are that the university and its Council be restrained from complying with the President’s broadcast and the Senate of the school from “awarding or attempting to award any degree, certificate or diploma of the university in any name whatsoever (particularly Moshood Abiola University) other than the University of Lagos.”