Legal Drama

The Nigerian Bar Exam “4,000 Massive” Failure Saga: What’s the Real Deal?

Nigerian Law SchoolI have been watching this story with keen interest and curiosity. On this side of the pond, the bar results are soon to be revealed for our exam candidates in the state of California and across the USA. California is the hardest bar in the USA to sit for. There is much anxiety over the exam. Students sit for three days in July taking the exam and then have to wait until November, usually thanksgiving weekend, for their results.

For their counterparts in Nigeria, the bar results came out in August. That everyone can agree on. Where there is huge disagreement is the amount of students that failed/were unsuccessful taking the bar. Students claimed to the press that 4,000 of 6,000 students who took the bar failed. The agency charged with administering the exam has now stepped forward to say the representations are false. They claim over 50% passed the bar and those fighting the results are repeat disgruntled test takers. Which is it?

Also, where are the students getting their figures from? Check out recent press statements from both camps addressing this controversy. I will be having an attorney from that side of the pond, in Nigeria, shed some light on this drama via AML podcast show, soon.

In the meantime, AML law students in Nigeria and Nigerian lawyers, what’s your take?


Via PM News

“…A document made available to PM NEWS indicated that a total of 5841 regular candidates registered for the examination in the 2013/2014 academic year across the six campuses of the Law School. A further breakdown of the performance revealed that four students made 1st Class Honours while 96 students passed in the Second Class (Upper Division).
620 of them passed in the Second Class (Lower Division) while 2610 or 44.68 per cent of the students recorded ordinary pass. Also, 501 students recorded conditional pass because they have reference in one subject while 1932 students failed the examination.

However, the failure rate was high among the re-sit candidates with about 1168 out of 1335 students who registered failing the examinations while 88 students recorded ordinary pass. Also, 26 of the re-sit students recorded conditional pass.

Mrs. Max Uba told PM NEWS that the failure rate was high among the re-sit students because some of them are either working or based outside the country.

Mrs Max-Uba said the ongoing protest is being led by some of the re-sit students that have sat for the examinations four times without success because they refused to participate in revision classes organised for them prior to the examinations. She dismissed claims that the Director General of the Law School, Prof was behind the failure recorded.

On whether the results will be reviewed, she said any candidate may apply for review in accordance with extant rules of the Council for Legal Education. She also stated that a resit would be conducted for those who failed the exams next year.”


The Aggrieved Students Rebuttal

“The Nigerian Law School has issued a statement in the media claiming that the mass failure of the 2014 results is a lie. It is so unfortunate that an institution like the Nigerian Law School and its new acting DG cannot even stand by their actions and tell the truth.

The Nigerian law school is meant to be an institution that breeds future legal practitioners and Judges of this great country. The mass failure of 5800 students is no joke and cannot be kept hidden.
There are some students that their whole community or villages had to pull their resources together before paying their tuition fees. Some students parents had to sacrifice and forfeit money they have been saving to maintain their household only so one child in the family can get an opportunity to become a lawyer while others had to endulge in hard labour to pay the fees of the Nigerian Law School which cost 365,000 Naira.

The new acting DG called ONADEKO and his puppet that have been lying in the media should know that the more they lie, the stronger it will make the student who’s lives have been stolen to stand up against such tyranny and oppression. We live in an age of multiple social media networks and an age with a plethora of global communication.

It is written in the article that only 57.01% of students passed and in the same article it is written that only 1000 students failed. As you can see that makes absolutely no sense. It is written in the article that 5841 regular students wrote this years exam. It can also be easily checked that way more than 5841 regular students took the exam. By records given by the secretary of the law school of Abuja, over 7000 students throughout all the campuses with 2000 students writing the exam in the law school in Abuja wrote the bar 2 exam and only 1200 are being called to bar with 800 students given conditional passes.

These are facts that can easily be obtained by the law school as it can be given by just inquiring at the Abuja campus. Even if 1335 students were resitting exams with only 88 people passing, that would mean 5665 students failed. This is something that has never happened in the history of any law school in any country. If 5665 students who took the exam for the first time failed an exam that they paid over 300,000 Naira for then it is blatantly obvious that there is a problem with the institution and not the students.

It’s acceptable that some students do not take the exam seriously enough, but it is ridiculous to say that 5665 students which excludes the resit students were not up to standard.

The students will not relent nor tolerate Onadeko’s actions because he can’t steal peoples lives and come out in the media with a blatant lie due to his incapacity to handle the affairs of the Nigerian law school. He has failed as a leader and a legal practitioner due to his actions. If the the students of the Nigerian law school cannot rise up and defend themselves and the results that has been stolen from them,how can they come out and defend people in the society that have been unlawfully affected in different ways.

The mass failure of the 2014 results is a test to the Nigerian law students and they have been charged with the duty of defending themselves and the next set of students after them. If the DG claims that the students are lying, then let him publish the results in newspapers for everyone to see. The students should rely in the capability,integrity and judgement of institutions which the efficacy of their authority supersedes that of the Nigeria Law School such as the National Assembly and the Body of Benchers.

Nigeria has it’s problems,yes! But we have not lost hope in the integrity of all our institutions. They should continue striving for what is right until a proper investigation has been conducted which we believe will reveal the truth about the situation. Rumor has it that the DG called ONADEKO marked some of the answer scripts himself.

If the Judiciary, Body of Benchers and the National Assembly does not investigate the mass failure of the 2014 Law School results will only lead to the conclusion that Nigeria and it’s institutions of knowledge are nothing but play grounds of the heads of institutions who will do what they want,when they want.

The Judiciary and the National Assembly are the ordinary persons institution of hope. If they don’t investigate this foul play under the leadership of ONADEKO as acting DG of the Nigerian Law School and penalize him ,then the Executive arm of government will have to intervene and play it’s role as the protectors of the nations students, youths and institutions in general.”

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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