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Law students condemn recent social media attacks against faculty staff

Oct 25, 2019, 2:01 PM

(Wednesday 23rd October 2019 Issue)

Office of the president of Law students Association (LAS) at the University of The Gambia has condemned in the strongest terms the recent social media attacks against Nigerian professors at the faculty of Law.

In a media dispatch, the association without humor and with deep sense of utmost dismay regrets the unfortunate occurrence of a show of sacrilege on the academic qualifications of ‘our amiable professors’.

‘Our interest as law students is to uphold the integrity which the legal profession is known for by making our educational career progressive and enviable. The Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia is our school and every stakeholder has the right to express their grievances or constructively criticize or hold accountable those holding public authority but in good faith and devoid of any malice. Attacking anybody publicly from this Faculty without requisite facts and evidence undermines the image of this faculty and thereupon questions its integrity and honesty which we uphold. As a Legal Eagle in the shell, the LSA encourages all students to desist from any act that may pinch and affect us both legally, socially, morally and financially. The LSA Executive Body is not and never involved in this disreputable act and condemned it in totality. We enjoin all the stakeholders i.e., the general students’ body, Law Students’ Association(LSA) Executive and the Faculty Admin to cooperatively work together to resolve whatever misunderstanding that may exist so as to avoid further deterioration of the situation to the detriment of all stakeholders especially the students’.

Faculty of Law, the release added, is not known for conflict, it is the epicenter of Peace, Dignity, Tolerance and Respect, which serve as one of the reasons why it is both universally and municipally respected.

‘We request all and sundry with differences to come to terms, bearing in mind human rights standards, discriminatory statements against non-Gambians is highly discouraged. It is our ardent belief that whosoever is behind this unfortunate publication has not done so on behalf of the LSA and the high majority of the students who look up to the LSA as its representative. The LSA promises to get to the bottom of the matter to determine who is/are behind this unfortunate publication in Freedom Newspaper’.

The LSA therefore, dissociates itself from that impeachable publication. The LSA Executive is continuously working on the genuine claims raised by students, one reason why we met with the Dean, Faculty of Law on 8th October 2019, the LSA Students on 9th October 2019 and University of The Gambia Admin on 10th October, 2019. Consequently, the UTG Admin made some promises to that effect. These promises are captured in the 10th October 2019 Resolution (Between UTG-SU on behalf of all Sub-associations and the UTG Management) and signed by UTG-SU President and UTG Vice Chancellor. Subsequent to this, the LSA appealed to all students to be patient in response to this agreement and it is our view that this publication is not a representative of the general students’ view.

‘We crave the indulgence of any media personnel meddling with our integrity to desist from tarnishing the image of our noble University especially the Faculty of Law or at least verify the veracity of information received before publishing them and we demand that the false information be deleted forthwith. These professors are not fake! And by implication, when you term them as such you are putting the integrity of the entire university into disrepute as they have contributed immensely to its development. They are here through an International Agreement between the Gambia and Nigeria. On a factum, the Nigerian government is responsible for their remuneration. It is therefore conclusive that, no other authority, person or group is a party to this agreement and thus fumtus (lack capacity) to condemn, instigate, discriminate or opine to this arrangement. The LSA wishes to invite all stakeholders in this issue to diligently safeguard the integrity and the good name that the UTG especially the Faculty of Law have earned itself over the years. Respect our friends from other countries, including Nigerians and concentrate on providing solutions to the challenges we may inevitably face’.

Finally, the successes registered by the Faculty of Law of UTG in the past and continue to make cannot be mentioned without recognizing the genuine contribution of non-nationals especially Nigerians who continue to be a pillar of legal education in the Gambia. Therefore, the professors that are defamatorily attacked publicly by referring to them as ‘incompetent and fake lecturers are respected all over Nigeria and beyond as they are prolific publishers and are not incompetent or fake professors as accused.  They are here on a Technical Assistance basis agreed by the governments of the two states and due prudence was made in their selection and selected based on their intellectuality, competence and professionalism. The LSA on behalf of all students including the LL.M students wishes to extend our apologies to these professors and tender our solidarity in this unfortunate situation.