A Lagos based lawyer and Master degree student of the University of Lagos is taking President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney-General of the Federation to court over the renaming of UNILAG.
Barrister Oluyinka Oyeniji filed the case against the President on Thursday, May 31, 2012, at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, seeking the court’s interpretation of the 1967 Act establishing the University of Lagos.
Mr. Oyeniji’s case, with file number FHC/L/CS/575/2012, queries the following:
Whether the President is empowered under the University of Lagos Act 1962 amended in 1967 and as contained in Chapter U9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended, to change the name of the University;
Whether the action of the President by declaring in his broadcast that the name of the University is ultra – vires the provisions of the Act establishing the University and therefore null and void and of no effect;
Whether the action of the President by declaring in his broadcast that the name of the University be changed is a breach of the doctrine of separation of powers which Nigeria practices under its Presidential System of Government; and
Whether the Honourable Court should, in the circumstances reverse the name of the University to its original state being the name with which the Act establishing it provided for in its long title, short title, interpretation section and the entire body of the Act.
At the moment, the school is under academic suspension for a period of two weeks due to the protests that took place almost immediately after President Jonathan made the announcement on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, during his Democracy day speech.
Professor Wole Soyinka has also written to condemn the President’s action in an article ‘Goodluck Jonathan’s Gift Horse‘.