The Faculty of Law, University of Maiduguri, started as the Department of Law in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. The Department commenced teaching in November, 1976, with Professor (then Mr) Niki Tobi (now a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria) and Professor (then Mr) Olusegun Yerokun as the pioneer teaching staff. In August 1978, the Senate of the University upgraded the Department of Law into a full-fledged Faculty with a single department, the Department of Common Law. In the same year, Mr. A. Siddique, Dr. R. C. Chhangani (now Professor) and Dr. H. Muller joined the Department as lecturers. A year later, in 1979, the Faculty sent its first set of students to the Nigerian Law School.
When the National Universities Commission (NUC) upgraded the Department of Law into a full-fledged Faculty, it approved five departments for the Faculty of Law. However, due to infrastructural constraints and other operational difficulties, all the approved five Departments could not take off at the same time. As a result of these constraints, all the approved five departments were merged together and called the Common Law Department. The taking off of the Department of Common Law was followed on 2nd October 1980 by the establishment of the Department of Sharia. These two departments i.e. the departments of Common Law and Sharia, have been headed at various times by distinguished academicians such as Hon. Justice (Professor) Niki Tobi, Professor R. C. Chhangani, Mr. Ahmad Siddique, Dr. T. A. Qureishi, Dr H.B. Usman (deceased), Alhaji Ma’aji Shani (deceased), Professor Abubakar Mustapha, mni, Dr. Tahir Mamman, Professor Isa H. Chiroma, Dr. A. A. Kolo and Dr U. S. Abbo Jimeta.
The two departments continued to exist until the 1997/1998 Academic Session when the Senate of the University further directed the splitting of the Department of Common Law into the Departments of Private Law and Public Law. Because of this split, the number of departments in the Faculty rose to three, namely: Department of Private Law, Department of Public Law and the Department of Sharia. Since the inception of these two new departments, Dr. M. M. Gidado (now Professor), Professor Yusuf Mohammad Yusuf, Professor Izzat Ullah and Dr Babagoni A. Bukar have headed the Department of Private Law. Dr. Y. A. Muhammad, Dr. Sule Musa Tagi, Dr. Maryam I. Gwangndi have on different occasions headed the Department of Public Law. Currently, the heads of department of the three departments in the Faculty are Dr. A. S. Hassan (Private Law), Dr Maryam Ishaku Gwangndi (Public Law) and Dr. Laminu Bukar (Sharia) with Dr. Yusuf Mohammad Yusuf, a Professor of Law, as the Dean of the Faculty.
The Faculty offers an LLB Honours degree programme in Civil Law as well as a combined degree in Civil Law and Sharia (LLB and Sharia). In addition to the undergraduate programmes, the Faculty also runs a robust postgraduate degree programme leading to the award of both LLM and PhD degrees in law.
To be a world-class law faculty which produces highly disciplined law graduates that will provide quality legal representation to the people as well as cater for the contemporary legal needs of the society.
The mission of the faculty is:
Main Objective of Law ProgrammeTo train students who upon graduation will proceed to the Nigerian Law School where they will undergo the one-year compulsory training for the purpose of being called to the Nigerian Bar.
Specific Objective of Law ProgrammeTo produce lawyers that will fit in well in all the sectors of the society, be it in the judiciary, private legal practice, public sector, private sector or even the armed forces. This objective is of particular importance to the States that make up the University’s catchment areas that depend on the Faculty to provide both high and low levels manpower to serve on both the Bench and the Bar.
The philosophy of the programme is the adoption of a comparative method of teaching which is inter-disciplinary in its approach to the training of students in the legal profession to meet the challenges of the modern era. Towards this end, the Faculty has recently introduced practical and interactive teaching methods as part of its curriculum and this method has been warmly received by the students. This interactive and practical teaching method involves practical training like interviewing live-clients, opening and managing clients’ files and observing how cases are handled in the court. The handling of cases is however, pro bono. Each lecturer apart from his/her normal lecture hours also conducts tutorial discussions in his/her courses. The tutorials enable the students to discuss legal issues under the guidance of the lecturer.
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