The Senate on Tuesday passed a Bill that seeks to increase the number Law School campuses from six to 12.
The Bill, titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Legal Education (Consolidation, etc) Act by establishing the campuses for the Nigerian Law School, and for other related matters” was sponsored by Kogi West Senator Smart Adeyemi.
The passage of the Bill followed the adoption of the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters that considered the Bill.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele presented the report.
The existing Law School campuses are located in Lagos (Southwest); Abuja (North Central); Yola, Adamawa State (Northeast); Kano (Northwest); Enugu (Southeast) and Yenegoa, Bayelsa State (South-South).
The additional campuses approved by the Senate are Kabba Law School Campus, Kogi State (Northcentral); Maiduguri Law School Campus, Borno State (Northeast); and Argungu Law School Campus, Kebbi State (Northwest).
Others are Jos Law School Campus, Plateau State (North Central); Okija Law School Campus, Anambra State (Southeast); Orogun Law School Campus, Delta State (Southsouth) and Ifaki Law School Campus, Ekiti State (Southwest).
The Senate also approved the Yenegoa Law School Campus, Bayelsa State; Port Harcourt Law School Campus, Rivers State; and Orogun Law School Campus, Delta State for the South-South zone.
In the South West, the chamber approved the Lagos Law School Campus, Lagos State; and Ilawe Law School Campus, Ekiti State.
The Bwari Law School Campus, Abuja, remains exclusively for the Federal Capital Territory.
Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, said the creation of the six law schools was a legislative intervention to address “the exponential increase in the number of law graduates from our universities an foreign ones, coupled with the backlog that existed over the years.”
According to the lawmaker, “existing campuses are overstretched and the infrastructures are not enough to accommodate thousands of law students graduating from the universities.”
He observed that the United States of America with a population of over 350 million people has about 237 law schools.
The lawmaker noted that some countries such as Canada and Australia, with far lesser population than Nigeria, have 24 and 38 law schools for a population of about 38 million and 26 million people, respectively.
He explained that the provision for additional campuses in the six geopolitical zones of the federation was appropriate as it does not tamper with the seven existing campuses established by administrative responsibilities of the Council of Legal Education.
Bamidele, therefore, advised the Federal Government to, as a matter of priority, provide adequate resources for the funding of the Infrastructural needs of the law campuses across the country.