Twenty-Eight Law graduates in Bayelsa State have sent a save-our-soul message to Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, over the lack of funds to enroll into the Nigerian Law School.
The group had sent a series of correspondence through the office of the Chief of Staff and the office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, but nothing positive came of their efforts.
They are appealing to the state governor to assist them financially to enroll into the Nigerian Law School in the coming academic year.
In a letter made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, Aluzu Augustine, President of the Bayelsa State Graduate Forum, said 28 of its members may miss out on their admssion into the Nigerian Law School in the coming academic session due to inability to afford the tuition fee.
He said: “The Nigerian Law School, which will resume academic activities on 12 November, 2018 will run a compulsory one-year law programme which will qualify successful students to be called into the Nigerian Bar.
“The call is a last resort by the body as entreaties made to the state government are yet to yield results.The Bayelsa State Law Graduates Forum is calling on the state government and well-meaning individuals to come to the financial aid of 28 of its indigent members who have been shortlisted for a one-year compulsory academic programme at the Nigerian Law School.
“The Forum is home to law graduates from Bayelsa State, with 67 of its members being enlisted for admission into the Nigerian Law School. Some of our members risk losing out on their admission due to inability to afford the school’s tuition fee this year. The school fee is ₦295,000.00 per person.
“We have already written series of letters to the state government appealing for subvention.The plea is for the government of Bayelsa State to come to the financial aid of these graduates who have currently lost so much due to the ravaging flood in Bayelsa State by providing them with law school subvention. The subvention will also ameliorate the financial difficulties of our parents, who are mostly civil servants and pensioners in providing for us throughout our undergraduate days in the university.
“The actual number of those affected by lack of funds were thirty-three. However, it was Niger Delta University Alumni Association which assisted five of our members in completing their various tuition fees with a kind donation of ₦100,000.00. Having raised part of the money, the rest of our members would have taken advantage of the Bayelsa State students loan board, but to our dismay, the board is yet to be fully inaugurated by His Excellency.”
In his address, President of National Association of Bayelsa State Law Students, Comrade Smith Livinus-Agala said his association had taken steps to address the situation by writing to the appropriate government quarters, but is yet to get any favourable response.
He said the situation as urgent, owing to the financial realities of the state, while noting that it would not be the first time the government would provide subvention for students going to Law school, as it last did so in 2010.
He said: “We are earnestly pleading with the state government to provide subvention for Law school students of Bayelsa State extraction.
“According to our records, 28 Law graduates may miss out on their law school admission, if something urgent is not done to provide them with subvention.”