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OAU Faculty of Law History Insight

By Adejumo Kabir

Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria is a fascinating centre of excellence where lofty aspirations and yearnings for legal knowledge are catered for.

The Faculty of Law is one of the Foundation Faculties of the University since 1962.

In 1960, the Committee on Legal Education for Students from Africa was set up under the legendary Lord Denning. The Report of the Committee stressed the need for the training of lawyers within Africa.

In Nigeria, however, things had moved faster than the Denning Committee.

The Committee on the Future of the Nigerian legal profession, which was set up in April 1959, had submitted its Report in October 1959. The Committee recommended, inter alia that Nigeria should establish its own system of legal education, and a Faculty of law be established in the first instance at University College, Ibadan, though, it was hoped that Faculties of Law would be established at other Nigerian Universities.

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This development gave impetus to the establishment of Law Faculties in Nigeria Universities. By October 1962 when the Faculty of Law of the University of Ife took off, the necessary professional institutions and legislation were in place, that is, the Council of legal Education and the legal Education Act of 1962.

Following the demise of one of the foremost Nigerian politicians of the old Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the name “University of Ife” was changed to “Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife” in 1987.