From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has reemphasised that the Dr Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt has been provided to be a self-sustaining institution in Nigeria.
Governor Wike, on Monday, handed over the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of adjoining property to the campus acquired by the Rivers State government to achieve the mandate, to the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Emeka Ngige, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The presentation was made when Governor Wike conducted the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Ngige, SAN, together with the Director General of Nigeria Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma, SAN, and other dignitaries round structures within the Law Campus that were completed and ready for formal handover.
Governor Wike said the acquisition of the adjoining property to the campus would enable the operators of the campus to use them for sundry commercial and revenue generating activities in order to meet the financial needs of the Law School in Port Harcourt.
He said: “We are using this opportunity to present the Certificate of Occupancy of the property we have acquired and paid for by the Rivers State government for the Nigerian Law School, Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas, Port Harcourt Campus to you (Chairman).
“We are giving the property to you for the purposes of making some revenue to run this campus. Whatever revenue derived is to be utilised for this campus alone.
“Very soon, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the Director General will meet to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding. It will ensure that you won’t take revenue from here to subsidise for other campuses. Any money you make here, put it here in this campus.”
Governor Wike also told them that with the construction work on all the structures in the campus now completed, the state government awaits the Council of Legal Education to choose a date when they desire the campus be formally handed over to them.
In his response, Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, noted that they were on inspection of the facility and were amazed at what they have seen.
“Last [year], 17th July 2021, was when we came for the foundation laying ceremony and His Excellency promised that this project will be delivered in one-year. Behold, today is June 27th, not up to July, yet and he had delivered.
“Recall that when we were doing the ground breaking ceremony, His Excellency promised that every month he will give this campus N10 million for four years, and will be given in advance, that is about N480 million to run this institution.
“When I learnt that he had acquired adjoining property; houses, shopping malls and other business facilities for the Law School to rent out to raise revenue to run this institution. I can tell you it is unparalleled.”
On his part, the Director General of Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma described the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus in Port Harcourt as the best and mother of all Law campuses in Nigeria.
“On behalf of the Council, we are very grateful for a promise made and promise kept. This is the turning point in the history of legal education in Nigeria.”
During the inspection of the lecturers quarters in New Government Residential Area in Port Harcourt, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze CJ Okocha, SAN, said Governor Wike was a performer, who keeps promises and has delivered the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Port Harcourt Campus that is tastefully constructed and furnished before the record time he set for himself.
Also speaking, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association. Okey Wali, SAN, noted that Governor Wike has done this to show that he is a lover of democracy and for promotion of the judicial system in Nigeria
The Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, described the project as historic and iconic because there is nothing like it across the country.
He said Governor Wike has provided it as a commitment to advancing legal education in the country.