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Law School Versus Kayode Bello: Give Him Another Chance Please - The Nation's Editorial - Education - Heroslodge

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Law School Versus Kayode Bello: Give Him Another Chance Please - The Nation's Editorial by emperormero(m) : 7:15 am On Aug 03, 2017

Give him another chance, please

The ongoing rumpus between Kayode Bello, a student and the Nigerian Law School in Bwari, Abuja, must present as a precedential case in which all concerned would have learned fresh lessons. And the immediate outcome is that it provides an opportunity for a rethink of methods, a re-tinkering of the school’s processes and an improvement on students’ welfare.

In the past few days, the matter between Bello and the Law School administration which has led to the eventual expulsion of Bello from the Law School, has seized the media with opinions sharply divided as to which of the two parties has erred – at least in the court of public opinion, as the matter has yet to go to the court.

Tagged as ‘seat reservation’ matter, it started when sometime in March an altercation ensued in the lecture hall between Bello and another student (a female) over the right to a seat. Apparently there was a paucity of seats in the lecture hall which occasioned the ‘reservation’ of seats by students for friends.

On this day, Bello had occupied a ‘reserved’ seat and refused to give up the seat when the student it was reserved for materialised. In the ensuing altercation, the matter had escalated to the notice of the authorities who adjudged Bello to have erred. But Bello insisted that seats were inadequate and indeed, the lecture halls were often overcrowded with hardly enough room for all. He also said that the school authority had outlawed the practice of seats reservation during classes.

The school authority on its part, accused Bello of “constant disruptive conduct” and “penchant for misbehaviour” which dates back to his school days in the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

Further, the school authority noted that Bello, among other issues, failed to appear before the Students Misconduct Committee which probed his alleged infraction of the Student’s Code of Conduct despite several invitations.

The committee therefore concluded that Bello was culpable of the allegations against him, noting that the Council of Legal Education was magnanimous in the first place to have admitted him to the Law School despite adverse report from his university. The report recommended therefore that “Mr. Bello lacks the core attributes, disposition and comportment of an aspirant to the Bar”. It recommended his expulsion from the Nigerian Law School. The Council of Legal Education considered the report at its meeting of early July and approved Bello’s expulsion.

But Bello has raised issues about over-crowded lecture halls, leaking pipes and generally poor and inadequate facility in the Law School. Some former students of the school who have contributed to the debate have weighed in about management highhandedness and inefficiency of school processes.

Again, ex-students speak of a repressed environment where students have limited opportunity to express their grievances without facing dire repercussions. It is believed that these strictures and undue stiff regimen are in pursuit of ‘proper conduct’ expected of a legal practitioner.
As a result, most students merely go through the motion of attending Law School, afraid to rock the boat. Hardly anyone speaks up about the evident poor facilities and overbearing ways of the management and staff of the school.

While we do not condone unruly behaviour and insubordination towards constituted authorities, we urge the Council of Legal Education and the management of the Nigerian Law School to take another look at the Kayode Bello matter with a view to tempering justice with mercy. We must also bear in mind that ‘disruptive conduct’ is not necessarily negative as this may call attention to the need for improved funding and upgrade of school’s facilities by the government.

We must not fail to point out that all branches of the Nigerian Law School must, as a matter of routine, epitomize efficient management and high-end infrastructure. There should never be such things as overcrowded classrooms and plumbing snafus. If students are required and indeed reminded to comport themselves like aspiring attorneys, they must in like manner, be groomed and afforded requisite pristine ambience.

In the light of the fact that Bello has just a few months to write his examination and round off, the council should exercise its prerogative of mercy and grant Bello another chance.


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