Breaking: Court Abolishes Disparity in Federal Colleges Admission Requirements


The Federal High Court today declared unconstitutional the state based admission inequality in Federal Government Colleges also known as Unity Schools. The declaration was made in a landmark Judgment delivered in Lagos, by Honourable Justice John Tsoho on Wednesday 17th November 2014, in Suit FHC/L/CS/1358/2013 filed by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN against the Federal Government and Education Minister, to challenge the admission disparity. The case is based on Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution which prohibits administrative or executive actions by government that discriminates between Nigerians on grounds of ethnicity, gender, religion and place of origin. The Originating Application was filed on September 30, 2013, for the following Orders:

  1. A Declaration that the administrative acts of the Respondents, particularly the 2nd Respondent which prescribes and applies different requirements including cut-off marks for candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges, based on gender, ethnicity, states of origin etc. is discriminatory against Applicant’s grandchildren and the group/class they represent, on grounds of ethnicity, states of origin, gender etc. and therefore violates Section 42(1) of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria:
  2. An Order directing the Respondents, particularly the 2nd Respondent to apply uniform admission requirements, especially cut-off marks to all candidates seeking admission into Federal Government Colleges, notwithstanding their gender, states of origin, ethnicity etc.
  3. An Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Respondents, particularly the 2nd Respondent, whether by itself, its agents, servants, privies or otherwise howsoever from further acts of discrimination in admission to Federal Government Colleges.
  4. Such Further Order(S) as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances

HURILAWS Statement on 12th World Day Against the Death Penalty

LAGOS, Friday, October 10, 2014: Nigeria has applied the death penalty for more than 50 years with no serious attention paid to mental health. Mental health is a critical factor to consider at every stage of the death penalty process from before a person commits a crime through governments execution of the convicted person, and even post execution, as the death penalty affects the mental health of the families concerned.

Nigerian law recognizes insanity when proved as an exemption to criminal liability for capital offenses. However, it is unclear on other forms of mental health problems like mental retardation or personality disorders. Mental retardation is a condition in which a person’s mental capacity has not developed during childhood and adolescence leaving the person less able to adapt to independent life and decision making. Personality disorder is not a mental illness that can be treated with drugs or therapy but rather constitutes a behavioral condition in which the affected person can lack empathy and understanding of others and can disregard social and legal conventions.

OLISA AGBAKOBA V. CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF, BRIGADIER-GENERAL D.T. NDIOMU & ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION – SUIT NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/708/2014

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN has challenged the decision of the Nigerian Army General Court Martial that convicted and sentenced 12 soldiers to death by firing squad for mutiny and other offences on 16th September, 2014.

In Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/708/2014 filed by the human rights lawyer at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, on behalf of the 12 condemned soldiers, the decision of the Court Martial is being challenged on the ground that the composition of the Court Martial is unconstitutional and contrary to Section 36(1) of the Constitution which guarantees a fair trial to accused persons by a tribunal constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.

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