A Federal High Court in Ikeja, yesterday granted an interim injunction restraining the federal government from renaming the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.
President Goodluck Jonathan had on May 29 announced in a nationwide broadcast that the university had been renamed in the honour of late Chief Moshood Abiola the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election that was annulled by the military.
The announcement had sparked off protests from the UNILAG community. But President Jonathan later forwarded a bill on the name change to the Nigerian Senate.
But, Justice Steven Adah, ordered that the status quo be maintained while the suits challenging the renaming of the university lasted.
The alumni association of the university and some students of the university had filed separate suits challenging the renaming of the university through a national broadcast by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Justice Adah emphasised the order in the two suits.
“No action should be taken to jeopardise this res (subject matter of the suit) pending the hearing and determination of the suit,” he said.
The judge’s order was sequel to requests by the counsel representing the plaintiffs in the two suits, Afolabi Fashanu(SAN).
Fashanu had pleaded with the court to grant an interim order to maintain the status quo as the federal government was desperate to give effect to the presidential pronouncement.
The two defence counsels present, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, representing the University of Lagos and the Council of the University of Lagos and Mrs. Titi Akinlawon, SAN, representing the Senate of the University of Lagos, did not oppose the application.
However, The Attorney General of the Federation, Bello Adoke, SAN, and the National Assembly who are the fourth and fifth defendants in the suits were not represented in court.
But the plaintiffs’ counsel confirmed that all parties in the suits were duly served with the court process.
Meanwhile the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has promised that the National Assembly would be thorough in taking its decision on the request by President Goodluck Jonathan to change the name of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University.