The Council of Legal Education has maintained its ban on Law graduates from Houdegbe North American University, Cotonou, the Benin Republic from being admitted into the Nigerian Law School.

A statement by the council secretary, Elizabeth Max-Uba, made available to newsmen on Friday said, the council said after its meeting to consider the appeals of the affected graduates on November 25, 2020, it resolved to sustain the ban imposed in 2015.

According to the council, the university is domiciled in Civil Law jurisdiction yet its law faculty was offering Common Law courses only, and that the subjects of the programme were specifically designated Nigerian.

It also noted that the students of the school were 100 per cent Nigerians and the language of instruction was English, whereas French is the lingua franca of Benin Republic, adding that, “The lecturers were Nigerians drawn from faculties of law in the South-West region of Nigeria, who were teaching there on a part-time basis.

“Information gathered from independent sources indicated that the university had no approval from the regulatory authority in that country to run a law programme in the university until 2016 after the decision was taken by the Council to suspend admission of its graduates to the Nigerian Law School,” the statement said.

“There are continuing concerns over substandard tertiary institutions in the West African sub-region, the Benin Republic, in particular, that target Nigerian students for commercial or monetary gains only.

“Although the Council has no regulatory control over institutions domiciled outside Nigeria, it is vested with powers to determine who is admitted into the Nigerian Law School and under which conditions.

“It also has the responsibility to ensure that candidates admitted to the Nigerian Law School have obtained the minimum standards in learning and have imbibed the basic tenets of the law,” the council secretary stated.