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Row over Oyo law students’ bursary

An announcement that was meant to be soothing to students of Oyo State at the Law School has snowballed into accusations and counter-accusations between beneficiary students and those who are non-beneficiaries. CHIMA OSUJI reports.

•We are shortchanged, say non-beneficiaries
•Gladiators:we did our homework well

In early August, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde hosted some students of the Law School who are indigenes of the state.

The students, about 120,  visited the governor to congratulate him on his election victory. They used the opportunity to plead for bursary. Their request was granted by the governor who promptly issued a N60 million cheque (amounting to N500,000 per student) to the visitors. Shortly afterwards, government went ahead to put the information on its twitter handle that it had paid the bursary of the entire indigenes of the state in the Law School.

The information generated reactions on the social media. While many students applauded the governor for reviving the state bursary which had been in comatose since 2012, some other  students in the law school stoutly rose, to say they did not benefit from the award.

Though the governor was to later use the bursary as part of his achievements in ‘100 days in office’ a few weeks later; yet the entire episode appeared to be mired in controversy.

The law students of Class of 2018/2019 of Oyo State Law Students have described the disbursement of the bursary as ‘imbalanced’ and lacking adequate representation of real beneficiaries.

President of the 2018/19 Class, Kolapo Sodiq Abidemi, said his colleagues, got nothing from the largesse. adding that only the 2019/2020 Set, benefitted.

Abidemi, who is the national president of the Association of Oyo State Law School Students, a body comprising students in the law school across the six campuses, said the list submitted to the governor was not official, as he has in his custody the authentic list  issued by the Nigerian Law School.

CAMPUSLIFE learned that the Nigerian Law School has two sets of admission-the ‘regular set’ (2018/2019) admitted in November); as well as the ‘backlog set’ (admitted in April for the 2019-2020 session). While the former category has students spread across the six campuses of the law school; the latter group has students in only Yenagoa, Yola and Abuja arms of the school.

Abidemi attributed the ‘shortchanging’ to misinformation given to the government by a representative of the backlog set, Mr Olaniyi Adisa Ogunlade, who according to him, allegedly omitted his set on the ground that they had already graduated from the law school.

Though already through with their final exams, Abidemi said neither has their results  been released, nor have they been called to the Bar, indicating that they are still in the system.

Meanwhile, Ogunlade, has dismissed the allegation leveled against him as a tissue of lies. Defending his stance, Ogunlade said he acted on behalf of his colleagues alone, therefore he is not answerable for others.

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