BEFORE I SIGN THIS UNDERTAKING…

…Questions for the UNILAG Management

Omenga

‘He who asks questions does not miss road’ – African proverb.
‘He who fails to learn from the lessons of history is bound to repeat its mistakes’ – Universal proverb.

Pardon my pretence to wisdom: I have only incorporated those two proverbs because I know that we are Africans, or, in the case of those who have become so Eurocentric as to have no regard for anything African, they are at least universal citizens. But most importantly, I want to preface this article with the fact that necessity, not wisdom, is driving me into writing this; and if perchance I say anything wise or worth ruminating upon, it is because there yet is a place left for the truth even in an era of falsehood, some place for justice even in a disproportionately unjust world, some place for the feeble voice advocating freedom even in the midst of universal tyranny.
Thank you, especially if you have patience enough to read through to the end…
The beginning – and I hope the end too – of this writing is the protest of the students of the University of Lagos and their ‘purported expulsion’. Ok, there is no reason to garb the fact: let us put it bluntly – the expulsion of the students, because of their protest on the 6th and 7th of April 2016. It is no light phrase – ‘expulsion of all undergraduate students’ of the University of Lagos – and I think that is why the management did not explicitly state so. But there is no clearer way of putting it than by saying that students will only be ‘readmitted’ upon fulfilling some conditions: signing undertakings. How can they re-admitted unless they have formerly (and formally) been expelled? Now some facts before questions.
On Thursday, 7th April 2016, the school passed the following news bulletin round the school (please check for the full news as I would only be providing extracts).
“….In order to forestall a further breakdown of law and order on the campus, the Senate resolved to take the following decisions until the situation normalises.
All academic activities on campus are hereby suspended with immediate effect…
A decision to reopen for normal activities will be taken as soon as municipal services improve…”
Even a layperson will understand this crystal-clear message: academic activities were suspended, not students; normal activities will be resumed, not re-admission of students.
(Addressing the Unilag Management now).
This was what you presented to us and the world when you were vacating us from the hostels. Whether you have supporters or opposers, it is on the strength of your representation. Then on Friday (I hope I will ever have some reasons to thank God it’s Friday) 22 April 2016, you posted…
…In preparation for the resumption, students are expected to adhere strictly to the following guidelines:
Students are to complete the undertaking form and get it notarised.
No student would be READMITTED without completing the above process.
Now, could you reconcile these two representations? That you expelled all the students at once in the cloak of restoring normalcy, without letting them know of their expulsion, because you are aware the world would scream at such abuse of power and due process? If this readmission does not render the vacation an expulsion, please kindly explain to me and for those who wish to understand. Note: I have not yet inquired into the invalidity of the purported expulsion, only the representation of it.
Now for the undertaking. (I actually thought at first that it was an undertaker’s form, with its harrowing content!) In paragraph one, I am supposed to pledge that I will pay due respect and obedience to the authorities of the University of Lagos and I will faithfully observe ALL regulations, which may from time to time be issued for the GOOD ADMINISTRATION of the University.
Not to question the propriety of this vow, or your competence at managing the University, what happens when you make policies that in the eye of the reasonable, right thinking persons are not for the good management of the University? For you must admit you are not perfect. Am I then permitted to refuse to obey such rules? Suppose for instance that you insist that no water is to be brought into the school and you don’t supply enough (as usual), if I go outside school and buy bag of sachet water and bring it into the school and perhaps sell to two or three roommates who are dying of thirst, have I violated my oath? Please define ‘due respect and obedience’! Define good administration! I long to know, that I may not disobey!
And for my parents who will sign indemnity form that I will be of ‘good behaviour and conduct’, exactly what am I to infer from that? Leaving aside whether every student have parents and whether some of them are sponsoring themselves – which you have acknowledged through your work-study programme – I ask that I may know: what do good conduct and behaviour mean? That if you were to increase any UNILAG-only commodity like tuition fees, etc, I am not to protest if you refuse negotiation? That I cannot exercise my constitutional right to association without your approval? That I am to accept whatever policy you propose without any form of protestation? If these are your meanings, please make them clear to me that I may know how to start seeking for the black goat in daytime.
As a precondition for entering halls of residence, I am also to sign hall clearance. I am fortunate enough in this regard to have been allocated a hall among the thousands who could not get. You acknowledged the discomfort occasioned by students because of lack of adequate hostels and permitted students without hostels to stay with their friends (correct me if I am wrong). Now that I must carry hall clearance for entrance, what will be the fate of my friends from Anambra and Kano who have nowhere else to stay but school? Will they have to come from Anambra and Kano in order to write their exams every day? In signing my hostel clearance, will I not be signing their damnation? If you must throw the baby away with the water, at least acknowledge the baby’s right to struggle for survival.
You have taught me many lessons, but now I don’t know whether you mean to test me or to unlearn those lessons from me. You derided before me the African kings who in the face of threat and illiteracy signed away their people to the colonialists and slave-masters. Today, you want me to sign away my freedom, even with the full implications glaring at me. Whatever be your motive, I WILL NOT SIGN THIS UNDERTAKER’S FORM UNTIL YOU HAVE MADE YOUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS SUFFICIENTLY EXPRESS TO ME!
And perhaps by now you understand the irrelevancy of talking about READMISSION, because I WAS NEVER EXPLELLED.

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Johnpology Oloyede
2013 – 2018
In View: L.L.B

Since you were recruited to race on the ‘L.L.B’, two vital dates are quintessential in your sojourn. Your year of arrival and that of departure. They are useless, irrelevant and of no essence if the dash sign ‘ – ‘ is absent.

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This I refer to as ‘the dash of our lives’.
Your travails, your victories, your hustles, your nuzzles, your successes, your setbacks,  your A’s, your C’s,  your acts, your exploits, your pains,  your gains, your regrets,  your threats, your friends, your turn ups,  life’s turn downs, and what have you?  Your life as a whole in this ivory tower is indisputably and unarguably, of definition through the ‘dash’ between the said dates. The dash encompasses your being all through your stay as an embryonic lawyer.
Whatever you’ll pride yourself in or whatever others tag you with lies and homely resides in your homily dash – which tells all of your duration and time spent in this tower of ivory gems.

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Your self worth and personal value are clear replica of how far and smooth you display your sagacity. Many of us tend to give the best of ourselves not when our being sagacious is needed but when there is an impending threat and an outright danger.  If you are of such posture and nature, you deserve a gun. Not a one to combat but one to eliminate the snaily and notorious part of your being that is traceable to the features of an imbecilic moron.
You are smart…bravo
You’re versatile…congrats
You’re a potential lawyer… I hail
You’re an embodiment of the rudiments of the law… Kudos
You’re a Library Prince or is it Library Rat… Cool.
The above are fascinating and intriguing about the average and status quo’ted’ law student.
But even you being as knowledgeable as the geniuspedia is never enough as we’ve heard many times that people do not care how much you know until they truly know how much you care.

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Dear Friend, it is a hint I have for that a very best medium to tell that you’re a sage and show that you care is by ‘giving a part of your being’.
Your worth and value is never a function of how much you know but how ready you are to show to the unknown, the known part of your personality. This, you easily and readily would exercise by giving a part of your being.
A ready question that would delight any listening organ is ‘who is in need of that part of me? ‘
Fine and dope.
It is what you are full of that others who in a way or the other are not your match thirst after.
You are full of and being made of the ‘LAW’. You are famously or infamously tagged ‘The Law’.
The average being out there is ignorant of a whim weigh of what you possess… He is tagged ‘The Lay Man’.

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What a contrast?!
What a sharp contrast?!
What an emphatic and sympathetic contrast!

You!  Yes you!  Is no better you when enlightening others over what you’re in possess of is a herculean task and some Samsonite hurdle.
A clear cut and path is made however.
A little more to the smile you’re wearing as some angels really have gone ahead to smoothen a channel where we can give that part of our selves to our world in a very best and amazing way… employing the law as a tool.
The ‘LAW to THE LAY MAN’ is an avenue without a sitting venue where you have your best gift to humanity homely sitting as it’s being offered.
Alphabetically, after the letter ‘L’ comes ‘M’.
‘J.O.Cically, after the letter ‘L’ comes ‘L’
It is not just L to M (Law to man)
It is L to L before M (Law to the Lay Man)

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We are often taught to look for the beauty in all things, so in finding it, the layman asks the philosopher while the philosopher asks the Lawyer.
Making the law accessible to the un-educated layman, while keeping high legal standards, has always been considered a treacherous navigation between the Scylla of professional contempt and the Charybdis of public misunderstanding.
We can do this in no better way or manner other than ourselves being young minds… We as learners of the law… We as mirrors of the legally legal Elfenbenturm (Don’t give two hoots about the meaning…it’s a tantalizing witch).

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Dear friends, we are at the best of our selves when we readily will make ourselves ready for a work for humanity. I mean,  a walk for humanity. It is therefore a big shout on to every one Walking Johnnie and Rachael Walker to come on board even as we work and walk for humanity. n

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The LAW TO THE LAY MAN has being a most wonderful and amazing initiative since inception till forever as every edition is always a top notch. And the 2016 edition which is the 4th of the count promises to be FLABBERWHELMING and OVERGASTING (interchange that).
It is AUDIBLE to the BLIND and OBVIOUS to the DEAF that it is 2016 greatest outreach to the street. (Interplace that).
This event has been date slated for Saturday, 5th March and time slated for 8am. The venue of convergence is the Faculty of Law (the palatial palace of the Akokite erudites).

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Ajayi Samuel
(SamAzing)
For J.O.C, UNILAG

NO LONGER AT EASE

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Maybe I am getting things twisted, but this is how they appear to me.
The management of the University of Lagos is a hypocrite; it pretends to be what it is not. It pretends to be in love with the students whereas it is not — in more ways than one.
I have often thought and believed (as much as I have heard said and claimed) that the management of the University of Lagos has the best interest of the students at heart and that such interest is the driving force behind its rules and policies. We may pretend the truthfulness of that assertion but the facts do not support it. The aim of this little write up is to point out these incongruent facts which I am unable to reconcile with the aforementioned claims and hope that those concerned reconcile them.
I am pessimistic that this write up may turn out a failure in the end for three reasons. One, it is not likely to get to the proper parties; two, that if it does, it might not be addressed; and, three, that the reader may not find it interesting enough to indulge his time in. But a necessity is laid upon me, and whether my message is heard or not, I must speak…
Are laws in a civilised society made to harmonise the lives of the people or to catch and punish unfortunate ones? I should like to think the former, but the trend in the University of Lagos points to the latter. A few of these rules, I  hope, will suffice to illustrate my point.

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It has been set out and emphasised that squatting is ‘illegal’ and carries with it a threat of sanction. The reason behind this, I have been made to understand, is the welfare of the students. Too many people in a room would make it unhealthy for the students. I believe in this and applaud it, at least for its ‘scientificality’ . But the logic of it quite eludes me. How is the rule of ‘non-squatting’ supposed to be for the benefit of the students when the available hostels are not enough for them? For we must allow a little statistics here, albeit approximate. There are about 8000 bed spaces for about 22000 students. Subtract the number of bedspaces from the number of students and you have a staggering number of those who will never stay within the school if the rule is to be obeyed. Even if we are to further subtract a few thousands who may not be interested in staying in the campus — say, 5000 students to be generous, we still have about 9000 ‘hostel-less’ students. Is this the interest which the  school claims to represent in its policies? Res ipsa loquitur.
Don’t get me wrong — I see nothing ethically wrong in the policy, except for the claim that the University of Lagos is the best in Nigeria, which claim I respectfully bow to. If the claim were right, it would naturally follow that students from all parts of the country would be trooping to the school. This, thank God, is right, and the school boasts of having not just students from other parts of the country but also from other countries.  Since we have this multinational studentship in the school, how are they to cope without hostels? It should not be a problem if the school were a local university confined to the studentship of people from Lagos State.  But as its international reputation is obvious…
The irony of this squatting prohibition,  or rather its wickedness, is further accentuated by the fact that instead of giving priority to people from far places in the balloting process, priority is rather given to  the staff children who turn out to be either living within the school or its environs. Perhaps there is a reason behind it which I do not know,  but it defies moral comprehension from my perspective.
Another rule, incidental to the first, is that students are not to buy or sell hostels. This rule is aimed, I am compelled to understand, not just to maintain the ‘landlordship’  of the hostels but also (most importantly)  to keep the students away from fraudsters. These are marvellous reasons,  but would it not be better to have more hostels and more honest management?
I sometimes think that these rules are meant to be breached rather than to be observed – pardon me,  no matter how crudely I seem to have put it. What, for instance, is the meaning of the rule stipulated in the hostel clearance that students are  not to cook in their hostel rooms when,  as far as boys hostels are concerned,  there is not a single kitchen in the hostels? This was once a puzzle to me until I decided to find out. When I got my first hostel and read the rules in the clearance papers, I approached the porters and asked for where to cook (for there is no ban on cooking). The man looked at me, shook his head and said dismissively : ‘go and cook in your room and get out of here’ – his exact words,  mark it. But it was I, not him, who was to blame – I was still green and unused to the fact that some rules are meant to be breached rather than to be observed…
I strongly think that other rules with respect to hostel management follow this trend. I should be very grateful if the management can correct this impression of mine which I believe a number of students also share. I therefore kindly ask of the Dean of students affairs (if he be within listening distance) to please set these matters straight.
I am hesitant to talk about the subtle exploitative policies of the school management, not for the dearth of examples, but for the frank reason that I cannot pretend to understand its economic organisation. For instance,  the school is notorious for letting out halls for outside events while denying them to the students for lecture purposes. If one bothers to poke one’s nose a little, one will discover how much the school makes from these ventures – which is not at all reprehensible,  except that too much sacrifice in the regard does not say well of the school.  The one really startling aspect of this exploitation is the imposition of  TSHIP fee on the students. I understand that it is a national health scheme – but is  N5000 not too much to be demanded from students for whose interest the school is acting? I learnt that University of Ife is playing about N2500 for the same  TSHIP. Perhaps that school has made some subsidies to its students. Why can  Unilag not do the same? If it cannot, I implore it to honourably desist from pretending that it loves the students because it does not!

Let me come home, to the faculty of law. Really,  what I have to say here may just turn out to be duplicates of what obtain in other faculties. The faculty of law purports to be emblematic of law abidance but its deeds show otherwise. I will point some of these deeds out and let the students in the faculty agree or disagree with me. My real objective is to have either the Dean or other qualified persons in the faculty address the issue.
A circular once went round the school, which circular I also saw pasted on the faculty noticeboard. This circular addressed the issue of mandating students to buy books.  I believe one can still get it under archived news in unilag website. Some days ago,  as I was passing in front of the bookshop,  I saw on the counselling unit noticeboard another notice encouraging students to report any type of harassment, including being mandated to buy books. This notice  I also believe can still be found on the said noticeboard. These go to show how serious the management is towards ensuring that the students are not exploited in any way,  especially by individual lecturers.
But these warnings are not to be heeded in the faculty of law. It is being blatantly disobeyed not by individual lecturers but by departments who produce journals and compel the students to buy them by threatening (and fulfilling) not registering the concerned courses for the students who fail to pay for the journals. A specific example in this regard is the department of jurisprudence and international law which, last semester, mandated all students taking courses from the department to buy its journal. A few feeble voices did protest, but that was all – the rights of the law students,  I am sorry to observe, end in their classroom. At any rate, the department sought to justify its imposition by claiming that the policy was aimed at promoting the department’s journals. Doing this by putting the students under duress does not seem to me the most honourable approach, not talk of its apparent illegality and conflict with the school policy on harassment.
This trend is continued in the faculty at large by insisting that students pay for a particular journal before they can be registered in the faculty. One may manage to understand the insistence on such payment for the prospectus, but for that particular journal,  it is beyond irrational,  particularly as the students have previously paid for and gotten it. The object of this foisting is shamelessly obvious in the admonition one gets by protesting – ‘you may leave the journal so long as you paid its price.’ How the faculty dues are calculated to amount to  around  N6000 I am yet to understand,  I can only say that it is outrageous,  compared  to the school fees (N9500). I will say nothing of the steps which the school has failed to take in ensuring that the banks do not impose extra charges on the students while making payments, and how the students are so subjugated in this regard that they are at times grateful that they are even allowed to pay…
With all due respects,  I implore the Dean of the faculty of law to explain why all these are going on in the faculty – the faculty of law of all places. I shall be very glad to understand the rationale behind it all.  Perhaps it should help to add that the law students are enduring these travails not because they are unaware of their rights but because they are afraid of the sanction that might result from protest. I have a higher regard for the faculty to suppose it tyrannical and in capable of listening to reason. Which is why I have taken the pains to air my view in the hope that it shall be looked into.
This is already too long to accommodate concluding remarks. However, let me be indulged to reiterate how it would gladden me if all the parties concerned should do something about the issues raised.
I am,  as Socrates would say,  a gadfly to propel the school management into action; and if my views are wrong, it would suffice to have them corrected,  for  which I would be grateful. May there be abundant grace to all patient listeners to these rantings.

As originally published on lss blog.
Edited by Eso Blog.

#AnticipateCelebritySlamdunk.

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🔊🔊🔊Whollup! Whollup!! Whollup!!!📣📣📢

Something big is coming…Its forceful…its dramatic…Watch this space!!!

Are you more than just a serious basketball fan? Are you addicted from birth? Just because he dunk a basketball, you like him yeah? Are you not a big sport fan but you love it when we #Slamdunk? Then say no more, coz we ain’t just slam dunking this time around, we got celebrities to do that sh** with us. Yeah yeah, we bad like that:).
You think Micheal Jordan is the best basket baller of all time, or you consider Larry Bird one of the best sport performer in clutch situations of all time, yeah? You ain’t seen nothing yet, come as we unveil the #CelebritySlamdunk, as it promises to be the greatest live b/ball game experience you’ve seen or heard in a long time. And then, to top it all off, we’ll be balling all the way with entertainment and refreshment for all. On the 12th of February, 2016, it will be happening live at the indoor sport complex UNILAG. You can’t miss out on this one, coz if you do, you are gonna miss out really bad. So come ball with us, we don’t just “dunk”, we “slam dunk with celebrities”.

#WeAreTheEsoPeople
#De’Ballers✌🏻😎

The TEN MOST ELIGIBLE LLBs (Law Ladies To Behold).

If I wanted to crack your ribs I would have titled this piece “top ten legal spinsters” but we all know what a spinster means. Anyways before I move on, I have to say that I’m not interested in knowing if any of them is in a relationship or nah. Before someone will come and be giving “I’m in a relationship speech”. Btw, some criteria were considered in putting this list together.

10. Amaka Amajuoyi (class of 19′)
This 200 level DE damsel makes the cut as the only representative from her class. She is obviously gorgeous. She Is also a brainy having had a very decent score in JUPEB. She also shows traits of an entrepreneur with her marketing skills. She still has 4 years to go. Let’s see if she gets to number 1 before law school.

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9. Christiana Adewara (class of 18′)
Krissmix was the runner-up in the maiden edition of the “Face of law”. She is the reigning Miss Makeover. Her CGPA is one I can bet any amount on. A follower of Christ, Christiana is what I call the “Perfect Wife Material”.

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8. Mena Akpobome (class of 18′)
The P.R.O of Teslim Elias chambers, Mena is a working model who has worked with various top-notch photographers including Kelechi Amadi. She came into the modeling limelight after contesting in the “Elite Model” competition 2014. Mena is the definition of brains and beauty. Her charisma fits that of a female leader. Could she be the next MVP?

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7. Uju Ejiofor (class of 17)
The reigning “Face of law” had to make the list. She’s also the Financial secretary of the maritime forum. No doubt she’s beautiful and I hear she’ll be a year older in few hours. #HappyBirthdayInAdvance Uju Ejiofor!

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6. Adeboyin (class of 16)
Boyin is cute 100% She’s pretty much a shareholder in LBT (Lady by Toke).
She was a volunteer at the Oil and Gas bar “Submit and Dinner” and the “National Tax Debate”. She’s also an active member of TEC. This beauty just falls shy of the top 5.

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5. Motunrayo Ogunseitan (class of 16)
MVP was the VP of the LSS last session. A one time VP of the JOC. Tunrayo is a goddess considering the fact that she worked under a certain Angel twice and didn’t cave in. This list would never be complete without our very own Cleopatra.

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4. Bukola Lawanson (class of 17)
Bold as she is popularly called is a God-fearing beauty who ran for Lss VP last session. She’s an active member of the GFSC. She’s an entrepreneur with several businesses including her own Bag Line called “Bold Languages”. Rumour has it that she might run for Lss President ‘Fingers crossed’.

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3. Faith Onimiya (class of 16)
This beauty was one of the brains behind the “National Tax Debate 2.0”. She was voted the finest girl in her class at last sessions “Cultural Pride Night”. Her beauty is not from here. She’s hard work, brains & beauty in one.

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2. Toketemu (class of 16)
Toke is an entrepreneur. She runs LBT “Lady By Toke” which produces the brightest, most colourful and the hottest skirts I’ve seen. She was also an integral part of the “National Tax Debate 2d.0” and the Oil and Gas bar “Submit and Dinner”. I see her as the life-size barbie. She has the perfect charisma, body, & intellects to be a potential Hollywood WAG. *I must order at least one LBT skirt for someone special before she goes to law school.*

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1. Pearle Nwaezeigwe (class of 16)
Pearle is my most eligible LLB.
Wayzigway is the perfect spinster. She’s is a member of the moot court, a member of the mooting interview panel, has been to the NMUN, on her way to another, She has been an executive with TEC, ran for the post of VP of the LSS. She’s also on the female football team of the class of 16, the official LSS games physician. A lover of fashion, Hector Bellerin & Rhonda Rousey, her mantra is “I’m not a do nothing b***h. Pearle is a beauty and brainiac to behold which is why she’s No1 like arsenal!!

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See you same time next year.

Compiled by FD.
Edited by EsoBlog.

#AreYouSmarterThanAFresher??

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Albert Einstein said, “every one is a genius. But if we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it would spend its life believing it is stupid.” They might have spent longer time than you in the faculty, doesn’t guarantee they are smarter. Come out as a freshman and prove your worth. Clear the doubt that freshers know less.
Friday 22nd January, 2016.
Mild room
12:30pm.

#AreYouSmarterThanAFresher.
#GetYourForm.
#BeThere.
#ThisFriday.
#WeAreTheEsoPeople.
#De’Ballers.