Unilag renaming: Court orders Unilag alumni, students to join forces

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday ordered the alumni and students of the University of Lagos to “consolidate” their separate suits in the case against renaming of their varsity.

President Goodluck Jonathan had,in his Democracy Day speech on May 29,renamed the 50 year old university to Moshood Abiola University.

After taking to the streets to register their displeasure, the students, and the school’s alumni, headed to court and separately filed suits to reverse the naming.

Joined in the suits are the University of Lagos; the Senate of the university; its Governing Council;  the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke; and the National Assembly.

Unilag remains Unilag

The court had, on June 25, ordered that the status quo be maintained pending the final determination of the suits.

At the resumed sitting, Wednesday, Justice Stephen Adah reiterated his earlier order restraining the federal government from renaming the institution.

Mr. Adah maintained that the order would “subsist throughout the hearing and final determination of the suit;” after a request by Wole Olanipekun, the plaintiffs’ lead counsel, for an extension of the validity of the order.

The respondents’ counsels in their separate responses stated that there was no need for an extension of the validity of the order.

However, H.E Obayagbon, representing the National Assembly; J.J Usman, representing the Attorney-General of the Federation; Taiwo Osipitan, representing the Senate of the University of Lagos; and Titilola Akinlawon, representing the university’s Governing Council; consented to the continued validity of the order.

Following an oral application by Mr. Olanipekun, the judge also ordered the consolidation of the two separate suits since they have the same facts, are seeking the same reliefs, and joined the same parties as respondents.

The respondents’ counsels also consented to the consolidation of the two suits.

In his application for extension of the order of injunction, Mr. Olanipekun argued that the status quo which the court said must be maintained in itsn June 25 ruling is the name which the university had been associated with for five decades.

Mr. Adah adjourned the case to September 21 and directed both parties to file all necessary court processes before the adjourned date.

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