250 Cut-off Mark: Court Grants Prospective UNILAG Students’ Motion For Judicial Review | Independent Newspapers Limited
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250 Cut-off Mark: Court Grants Prospective UNILAG Students’ Motion For Judicial Review

Posted: Jul 27, 2015 at 3:56 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

*As SERAP Files Another Suit

By Tunde Opeseitan, Lagos

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, July 27, 2015, granted an ex-parte motion filed by the prospective students of University of Lagos (UNILAG) seeking to challenge the decision of the institution and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to deny them admission based on the 250 cut off mark.

Justice Mohammed Idris, while granting the motion, said it would be in the interest of justice to grant the motion for judicial review of the actions of JAMB and UNILAG.

The court also adjourned to August 10, 2015 for hearing of the suit. The next hearing date is barely two days to the entrance examination of UNILAG popularly known as post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).

The prospective students had sued JAMB, its registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde; UNILAG and its Vice Chancellor, Professor Rahmon Bello, to challenge the plan by the defendants to prevent them from participating in the post-UTME pursuant to the 250 cut off mark.

The nine plaintiffs, with their UTME scores are Kofoworola Olukanmi with 235 marks; Mojisola Sholola, 247 marks; Mojisola Ajetunmobi, 239 marks; Ayomide Olajide, 228 marks and Joseph Omotosho, 247 marks.

Others are Olabimpe Oladipupo, 228 marks; Chijioke Nwachukwu, 233 marks; Saviour Echedom, 235 marks and Adebola Ekungomi, 223 marks

The nine students, in the suit filed by their lawyers, Kayode Idowu and Alex Ogedengbe, are seeking an order prohibiting the removal of their names from the list of candidates eligible to sit for the 2015 UNILAG’s post-UTME scheduled for August 12 and 13.

They are also seeking the leave of the court to apply for an order of mandamus to compel UNILAG and its VC to sell the post-UTME forms to them so they could sit for the exams.

In a 22-paragraph affidavit of urgency filed in support of the ex parte application, the students explained that they bought the UTME forms and sat for the exams on March 14 on the published condition that if they scored 180 marks and above they would be eligible sit for UNILAG’s post-UTME.

They, however, alleged that few days to the commencement of the sale of post-UTME forms for Unilag, their names were removed from the list of eligible candidates by JAMB and its Registrar, Ojerinde.

They averred that following the decision of JAMB to remove their names from the list, UNILAG had refused to sell post-UTME forms to them, a situation, which, they claimed, would deprive them the right to compete for admission in the university of their choice.

They also accused JAMB and Ojerinde of forwarding their names to private universities as against their wish.

They averred that the media had also reported Ojerinde to have directed that names of any student who scored below 250 marks should be forwarded to private universities.

They averred that a pre-litigation letter written by their lawyer to JAMB and UNILAG on July 16 to rescind the decision was ignored.

They further averred that their attempt to serve notices on JAMB and UNILAG in their offices were resisted and they were prevented entrance.

The refusal to allow them entrance into the Registrar’s Office, University of Lagos, according to them, was what led to an open peaceful protest at the Amphi Theatre of the Students’ Union Building on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

The students, who said that they were running against time, added that they had decided to come to court because “it would be unreasonable to continue to wait for the unwilling respondents, whose press releases and public responses on the matter have not shown any inkling of seriousness in addressing the appeal and the fact that time is of the essence.”

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has also filed another suit before the Federal High Court in Lagos against JAMB and UNILAG to challenge the decision to of the educational bodies on the 250 cut off mark.

Executive Director of the group, Adetokunbo Mumuni, who filed the suit on behalf of some affected applicants, is seeking an order restraining JAMB and UNILAG from implementing the decision.

Mumuni is contending that the provision of Section 5 (1) (C) (iii) of JAMB Act clearly stated that preferences of candidates in terms of the university they choose to attend are sacrosanct, adding that the decision of UNILAG could not override the clear provision of the law.

The applicants, on whose behalf SERAP filed the suit are Adeola Hammed Abayomi, Abass Ololade and Abass Ajibola.

Apart from JAMB and UNILAG, other defendants in the suit are Permanent Secretaries of both Federal Ministry of Justice and Education.

No date has been fixed for hearing.