A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has held that the University of Port Harcourt and its management were wrong by refusing to mobilize some students for their compulsory National Youths Service Corps, NYSC Programme. The Court also held that continuous withholding of the Certificate of the aggrieved students was an infringement and an act of hostility.
Presiding Judge, Justice Hilary Oshomah in a lengthy judgement delivered yesterday justified that the students participated in the 2015/2016 academic session, wrote exams, participated in the 2017 convocation ceremony and admitted into the alumni association of UNIPORT after paying all their necessary dues. He said asking the students to repeat their final year class after writing and passing the 2015/2016 academic sessions, was inconsistent with university policy and against the Law.
Justice Oshomah also faulted UNIPORT, saying the institution extorted the students by leading them to pay all necessary fees and participate in the university activities without any hindrance. Justice Oshomah of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, however, ordered the release of the Certificate of the affected students and that the students be mobilised for the compulsory NYSC.
The University of Port Harcourt was given fourteen days to implement the order of the Court and also refund all monies collected from the affected students in the 2015/2016 academic session with their names dutifully published in two National Newspapers: This day and The Nation. Justice Hilary Oshomah awarded the sum of Five Hundred Thousand naira as cost to the five students who approached the court on behalf of other affected students Meanwhile, Counsel to the University of Port Harcourt, Emeka Njoku told newsmen that the judgement of the Court will be communicated to the management of the institution. Njoku said the management of UNIPORT will decide on the next step to take.
Well, we have heard it. It is a comprehensive judgement and we cannot but commend the court. But I will have to deliver what the court said to my clients,” he said. On his part, Counsel to the plaintiff, Kingdom Chukwuezie said the judgement of the Court was binding on all the one thousand two hundred and twenty-two students affected by the UNIPORT Policy. Five UNIPORT students had gone to court on behalf over one thousand others who were denied certificate and mobilisation for the NYSC as a result of the controversial no fees, no exams policy introduced by the management of the University of PortHarcourt.