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    Date: September 20, 2019, 03:3 PM

 PhD student who sued ABU for N20m ordered to pay defendants

By choice2019 • 9 days ago • 774 views • 293 comments

When a post-graduate student of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Jamilu Auwalu Adamu took the decision to sue the institution, he reasonably believed he had a good case. He was targeting N20m in damages, but when the court verdict came, it was far from what Jamilu wanted to hear. He not only lost the case, but was also ordered to pay the institution the sum of N150,000.

The Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna dismissed the case for lack of merit.

The PhD student had dragged the institution and two academic staff to court, praying it to, among other things, declare that his withdrawal from the institution as invalid, null and void.

Jamilu, a staff of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, had claimed that his withdrawal and extension of period of studies at the institution’s School of Postgraduate Studies were wrongly done.

The plaintiff was seeking the sum of N20 million in general damages for “wrongful withdrawal, unduly prolonging the plaintiff’s period of studies, wasting of time, energy and waste of resources”.

However, the court in its judgment delivered by Justice S. M Shuaibu, ruled that the case lacked merit and, therefore, refused all the reliefs sought by the respondent.

Justice Shuaibu ruled that, “On the whole, this case lacks merit. The reliefs sought by the proceeding are refused. The suit itself is hereby dismissed”.

The judgment, consequently, awarded N50,000 cost to each of the three defendants (the University and two other academic staff) making a total of N150,000 cost against the plaintiff.

Justice Shuaibu said there was nothing before him to show that the plaintiff had applied for a deferment of his PhD programme or had applied for late registration, saying the conclusion was that the respondent had voluntarily withdrawn from the programme.

The judge went to add that the plaintiff ceased to be a student of the University since 10th May, 2015 by his own conscious act of omission; and consequently he lacked the locus standi to institute the proceeding as he was no longer a student at the time he did.

The court, equally, rejected the argument that the plaintiff became aware of his withdrawal by a letter from the 1st defendant to the plaintiff’s solicitors in reply to enquiries made relating to the status of the plaintiff with the 1st defendant.

Justice Shuaibu said those so-called enquiries were made two years after the plaintiff had voluntarily withdrawn from the institution by his conscious and deliberate omission to register for 2014/2015 academic session.


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