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Human Rights Lawyers Sue Ondo Governor Akeredolu For Increasing School Fees

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Human rights lawyers have dragged authorities of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) before the Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure over the outrageous and arbitrary increments of tuitions.

Vincent Adodo, Joshua Sebiotimo and Myson Nejo filed the application with the Suit No: AK/49M/2019 before Hon. Justice B.F. Adeyeye, seeking six reliefs from the respondents.

According to documents obtained by SaharaReporters, the respondents to the suit are the school’s Governing Council; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Vice Chancellor; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Governor of Ondo State and the Attorney General.

The management of AAUA had increased the tuition for returning students from N28,000 and N32,000 (based on the faculty or department and level) to N70,000 and 150,000 in the 2017/2018 session.

For newly admitted students, their tuition was increased from N150,000 for all departments except the students of the Faculty of Arts and Education whose tuition was pegged at N100,000. 

The increment was greeted with protest from the students who demanded the downward review of the fees.

They argued that the outrageous fees discriminated against students from less privileged backgrounds contrary to section 42 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

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According to the lawyers, the increased school fees were a violation of right to education guaranteed by section 17 of African Charter on Human and the People’ s Rights.

They contended that the deprivation of right to education is a violation of the right to life and the freedom of expression under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended). 

The lawyers are also asking the court to compel the respondents to revert to either the 2016/17 or 2017/18 schedule of fees.

The applicants also want the court to compel the 3rd respondent (Governor of Ondo State) to forward a bill to the Ondo State House of Assembly for the establishment of a Tertiary Education Trust Fund to cater for the tertiary education of indigent students of the state to school in any of the state-owned tertiary institutions.

The case was adjourned until July 31, 2019 for hearing.

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SaharaReporters, New York

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