An interim order stopping the Nigerian Federal Government from renaming the popular University of Lagos, UNILAG, was granted by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Justice Stephen Adah granted the order. He was ruling in the lawsuit brought against the government following the controversial decision taken by President Goodluck Jonathan to rename the top choice University in honour of late politician M.K.O. Abiola.
Protests trailed the President’s Democracy Day announcements to honour Abiola’s memory through the school, lawsuits also followed.
Many insisted that the president did not have a right to change the name of the university, which was established by an act of law. They insist that the President should have sought the permission of the National Assembly and some have even filed lawsuits to that effect, seeking to stop the President from naming UNILAG, the Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.
The President in a question and answer session with the media on Sunday defended his name change decision, saying it was according to the rule of law.
He said seeking the permission of the National Assembly after he made the announcement is in keeping with procedure and dismissed protests by students kicking against the name change.
“People may like it, people may not like it, but in terms of procedure, that is law,” Jonathan said.
The interim order stopping the UNILAG name change is a small victory for students and alumni who have kicked against it. However, the court asked the litigants to harmonise their lawsuits into one and adjourned the matter till July 4 for further hearing.