ONYEDI GABRIEL, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), have flagged off the construction of Port Harcourt Campus of the Nigerian Law School.
Speaking at the site of the project in Rumueme Town of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area on Saturday, Wike said his administration was poised to build, furnish and deliver the best campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt.
The governor observed that Rivers’ people hailed his idea and decision to request for a campus of the school to be located in Port Harcourt.
He said the Rivers Government would have missed the opportunity to make such a request, if it had failed to initiate the construction of two hostels and an auditorium at the Yenagoa Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Bayelsa State.
Wike said Rivers people would be the greatest beneficiaries in terms of employment opportunities the campus would offer and the economic activities within the precinct of the institution.
He said: “People are saying what a wonderful project; what a wonderful decision that we took. I’m sure every Rivers man and women, even persons who have clear heart who is not going to play politics will know that decision of siting Law School campus in Port Harcourt is very key.
“Not only will it help to reduce the number of those who ordinarily will not have the opportunity of going to law school at the time they finish their law programme at the university, it will improve the economy of the State. It will also create employment for our people.”
Wike noted the importance of the Yenagoa Campus of the Nigerian Law School to the South-South region, but observed that together with the other existing five campuses, there was still the lack of carrying capacity for law students due for training.
The governor said the Port Harcourt campus would be part of the contribution of the state government to legal education in the country.
He particularly acknowledged the apolitical consideration given to his request by Malami despite being a major critic of the APC-led Federal Government.
The governor also handed over the certificate of occupancy of the project site to Malami and announced that the state government approved subvention for the running of the Law School for the next four years.
The Rivers State governor further declared that he had the capacity and political will to complete the construction of the Law School on schedule.
Performing the flag-off, Malami, who was represented by the Chairman, Council of Legal Education, Chief Nnaemeka Ngige, SAN, recounted how Wike initiated the project with his request.
He asserted that the Council of Legal Education resolved that henceforth, any state government or group of persons wishing or offering to build a campus of Nigerian Law School in any other part of the country must comply with the Rivers’ Model.
He said: “I therefore use this medium to congratulate Governor Wike, the government and the good people of Rivers State for the vision and proactive stance in attracting monumental project to Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It is epoch-making and a landmark achievement, which posterity will rate very highly in the history of Rivers State.”
He explained that following Wike’s request, the council agreed to name the Port Harcourt Law School campus after legal luminary and former Attorney-General of the Federation and Commissioner for Justice, Justice Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas, SAN.