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Started by bamalli, July 10, 2009, 08:40:20 PM

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In suit No. FHC/L/CS/168/07 dated 22nd February 2007, the union argued that section 27 &28 second schedule of the 1999 constitution empowers the National Assembly to make laws for the establishment of an institution for the purpose of university, post primary, technological or professional education.

It added that the responsibility for establishing any Unity Collegeincluding the governance structure of such institution lies with the National Assembly.

"The National Assembly has not enacted any law giving affect to the proposal contained in Exhibit A or to any other proposal modifying the ownership or management structure of Unity Colleges,"

"Also, I verily believe that the constitutional provisions envisage that the staff of the Unity Colleges would be staff of the defendant as they form part of the establishment of tl'ese schools," the union deposed.

The ASCSN equally contended that under section 5( I )(a) of the 1999 Constitution, the government cannot surrender public funds to private persons for the purpose of managing public institutions which in effect means surrendering governmental and/or administrativc functions to private persons, and that if at all, such exercise must be under law enacted by the National Assembly.

It stated further that under the constitution, the government has no power to constitute any body of persons into a trust for the purpose of owning or taking over public assets and that if at all, such exercise must be under the law enacted by the National Assembly.

"Even the defendant in the said PPP proposal (see slide 21 page II of Exhibit A) has acknowledged the need for an appropriate legislation," the suit emphasized.

The union informed the court that controversies have arisen in recent times concerning similar ideals of constituting private persons into a body to promote public good sllch as the case of Transnational Corporation (Transcorp) where it has afterwards been discovered t hat the hi g h est p I ace d pub Ii c functionaries acquired substantial if not majority interest in the organization through his private company.

"Except a law is enacted ensuring a vety transparent process and making adequate provisions to safeguard the interest of the plaintift, I believe that what happened in the case of Transcorp may repeat itself in the Unity Colleges i.e that behind the PPP proposal may be a desire by public officials to provide an illegal retirement benefit for themselves in the face of the imminent change of govemment,"the plaintiff emphasized.

The ASCSN also wants the court to determine whether having regard to the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, the defendant can at all share ownership, control and/or management of any post primary institution with private persons of any description or hue or cede control and/or management of any post primary institution established by it to such private person.

"Further/Alternatively, whether having regard to the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria the defendant can act in the manner described in question (I) above in the absence of an enabling law duly enacted by the National Assembly," the union added.