In a report gathered by Ascology News from a reliable source, the Senate approved the renaming bill which was sent earlier in the week by President Goodluck Jonathan to bypass any embarrassing rejection of the name-change in what many Nigerians saw as illegal and unconstitutional.
A reliable source who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, said although The Nigerian Senate is on recess, the bill had been passed without delay but the Senate will make it publicly known after its members return from recess.
Other institutions that were renamed in the same bill sent to the Senate were the Federal University of Technology Umudike which was renamed to the Michael Okpara University, Umudike and the Federal Univeristy of Technology, Yola renamed to the Modibbo Adamawa University.
A law suit had been filed by students of the tertiary institution asking that the name-change was unconstitutional as it initially was done without parliamentary approval.
A hearing date for the matter has not been fixed by the Court.
Some students of University of Lagos, UNILAG, now, Moshood Abiola University, have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to declare that the power to change or amend the name of University of Lagos being a body corporate, having perpetual succession with common seal as provided under the University of Lagos Act 1967(as amended) belongs to the national legislatures.
The students, who had sued President Goodluck Jonathan, also asked the court to declare that UNILAG, being a creation of an act of the National Assembly, the University of Lagos Act, 1967 (as amended), cannot be governed except in accordance with the provisions of the University of Lagos Act, 1967.
The students are also praying the court to declare that the announcement contained in the President’s May 29, 2012, broadcast, changing the name of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, is unconstitutional, ultra vires, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
The students want the court to resolve whether the President, in his capacity as the Visitor to University of Lagos has the power under the University of Lagos Act, 1967, to unilaterally change the name of the institution to Moshood Abiola University.
They also want the court to determine whether the President, in the exercise of the executive powers of the federation vested in him in Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution, can unilaterally change the name of University of Lagos without recourse to the National Assembly.
The Federal Government today (Wednesday) reacted defiantly to the protest from the students and staff of the University of Lagos which was re-named Moshood Abiola University, saying that there was no going back on the decision as the late acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election deserved the honour.
Addressing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive council meeting, the Minister of Information, Labarn Maku said President Goodluck Jonathan’s proclamation was only a response to the over a decade clamour by a broad spectrum of Nigerians for Chief Abiola to be immortalized.
“It is our hope that reason will prevail and that the decision to honor one of our nations’s icons and heroes will be appreciated by all Nigerians including our youths and students who are the future leaders of this country” he said.
The President .. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his concluding remarks during his speech on democracy day, announced that the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG) is now Moshood Abiola University, Lagos (MAULAG).
It was named after the Late Politician, Chief M.K.O Abiola.
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