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Falana filed a lawsuit to advocate free ed.

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By Mercy Kelani

All states in Nigeria will receive the initial & subsequent legal documents.

In Lagos, the Federal High Court made a significant decision. Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, filed a lawsuit seeking to ensure that the Federal Government, all 36 states, and Abuja are obligated to offer free and mandatory education until junior secondary school level. Consequently, the court provided an order of substituted service upon all states in the Federation. During the legal proceedings overseen by Justice Daniel Osiagor, Taiwo Olawanle, the lawyer representing Falana, presented a request.

The presented request was for substituted service of the initial motion to be carried out on the various states via their liaison houses situated in Lagos. Olawanle’s application was approved by Justice Osiagor, who mandated that all the states in the federation receive the initial and subsequent legal documents through their respective liaison houses based in Lagos. The court scheduled the hearing for May 20, 2024, before adjourning. Falana and Hauwa Mustapha, an expert in early childhood education, jointly submitted the lawsuit on their own and as representatives of the Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond.

Sum of money to offer cost-free primary education.

Also, the pair pressed charges against the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Minister of Education, and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) due to their inability to obtain the ₦68 billion allocated by the Universal Basic Education Commission. This sum of money was intended to offer cost-free primary education to every child across the country who is of school-going age. Mrs. Funmi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, filed the suit on behalf of the respondents.

This included the Attorneys General of all 36 states in the Federation and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. On January 19, 2024, a lawsuit was filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking the court’s intervention to establish: Is there no legal requirement for the Respondents to ensure that every Nigerian child of school age receives free, compulsory, and inclusive basic education as stated in section 2(1) of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act, LFN, 2004?

One-third of children in the nation are denied education.

Furthermore, the Respondents’ noncompliance with the requirement to provide at least 50% of the overall project expenses, as a commitment to implementing the free, mandatory education program for all Nigerian children of schooling age, is against the law. This action is in direct violation of section 11(2) of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act from 2004. Does the law, specifically section 2(1) of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act, LFN, 2004, relieve the respondents from the duty of granting free, mandatory, and inclusive primary education to all Nigerian children who are of school age?

Femi Falana, a prominent lawyer, filed a sworn affidavit at the Federal High Court Registry in Lagos on January 26, 2024. In this affidavit, Falana highlighted a report released by UNICEF, revealing that the current figure for out-of-school children in Nigeria stands at a staggering 20.2 million. The report emphasized the alarming fact that a staggering one-third of children in the nation are denied the opportunity of education, unsurprisingly making it the global frontrunner in terms of the sheer magnitude of out-of-school children.

Related Article: 20K Schools Needed for Out-of-School Kids

According to Falana, the 4th to 40th Respondents have not followed the Education Reforms Act by not contributing 50% of the project costs and failing to access the matching grants. To address this, he wrote a letter and made a public statement urging the 4th to 40th Respondents to access the matching grant. At the time of initiating the lawsuit, there has been no evidence of the Defendants adhering to the Applicants’ request or demand. Moreover, school-going children persistently wander the streets without any resolution.

Related Link

UNICEF: Website

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