The Council of Legal Education has published the accreditation status of fifty-five Nigerian Universities offering Degree programmes in Law, with the University of Lagos listed solely as possessing full accreditation.
The list, as published in the Guardian, contained 16 Federal Universities, 20 State Universities and 19 Private Universities.
13 of the Federal Universities listed had their status designated as “Provisional accreditation”. Institutions in this category include University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria Nsukka, the Northern trio of Bayero, Ahmadu Bello and Usmanu Dan Fodio Universities, and the University of Benin. Others include the Universities of Maiduguri, Jos, Calabar, Ilroin, Uyo, as wells as Obafemi Awolowo University and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
While the University of Port-Harcourt had an “Approval to commence”, the regularly plagued law faculty of the University of Abuja has had its Accreditation suspended.
For State Universities, two of the five law faculties in South Eastern State Universities (ESUT, IMSU) retain their “Provisional accreditation” status while the other three have “Interim Accreditation”. According to the Council, “Interim” means that approval has been given for the commencement of the Law faculty “subject to further accreditation”. The law faculties in Delta, Rivers and Edo State’s Universities, as well as that of the Niger Delta University, hold Provisional Accreditation.
Contrary to the full accreditation status of the University of Lagos, the Lagos State University is the only one of the five listed South West Universities whose accreditation has been suspended. The faculties at Adekunle Ajasin, Ekiti State and Olabisi Onabanjo Universities have “Provisional Accreditation” while that of Osun State University has Interim Accreditation.
Kogi and Nasarawa States’ Universities hold Provisional Accreditation, while the Council has given “Approval to Commence” to the State Universities of Yobe, Katsina, and Bauchi for law programmes. The approval, the Council says, is “subject to further verification of facilities for interim Accreditation status”.
Like Ojo and Gwagwalada, Makurdi will not be a destination for many intending law students with the suspension of its Accreditation by the Council.
14 of the 19 listed Private Universities are designated with the “Approval to Commence” status, with the exception of Igbinedion, Babcock, Bowen and Madonna Universities who have Provisional Accreditation. Benson Idahosa University has an Interim Accreditation.
The published list also contained the established quotas for each of the University as it relates to the Nigerian Law School. The Federal Universities have an average quota of 181 with ABU, Unilag and OAU holding the largest (280, 270 and 250), while UDFU and UniPort have the lowest (80 and 50). Rivers State University, with a quota of 250, has, by far, the largest of State Universities, followed at a distance by Olabisi Onabanjo (170) and EBSU (150). The average quota for State Universities is 96.
As for Private Universities, only four of the listed 19 have quotas above 50: Afe Babalola University (180), Igbinedion and Babcock (100) and Bension Idahosa (60). The interesting point here is that ABUAD, one of the 14 designated with “Approval to Commence”, has been given the highest quota, perhaps a testament to its growing popularity for having one of the nation’s better facilities. It may not be unconnected to the status of its owner, however.
The Council, in its publication note in the Guardian, states that the list is “for the benefit and guidance of the public, parents and students”. While it did not state so expressly, the information from the list could give an insight into the best ranked legal faculties in the country, providing a guide to students for the best destinations to apply to. A rough top 15 rank** relying on the levels of accreditation and the quota scores would give the following:
1. University of Lagos
2. Ahmadu Bello University
3. Obafemi Awolowo University
4. Rivers State University
5. University of Nigeria Nsukka/Bayero University Kano
7. University of Maiduguri
8. University of Benin
9. Nnamdi Azikiwe University/University of Ibadan
11. Universities of Jos/Calabar/Olabisi Onabanjo University /Ayo Babalola University
15. University of Ilorin (which does not embark on ASUU Strikes)
**Ranking by Alexander O. Onukwue, for inquizimedia.com (Does not intend to reflect the opinion of the Council for Legal Education. The rankings are subject to update)