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Nigerian Law School Speaks on Mass Failure of Students who took Bar Exam




Olarenwaju Adesola Onadeko

Nigerian Law School authorities are speaking out on the mass failure of law school students in the 2013/2014 August Bar 2 final examinations.

Secretary to the Council of Legal Education and Director of Administration of Nigeria Law School, E.O Max-Uba, told PM News that the high failure rate was only among students who were re-taking the exam.

She said that over half of the students who were taking the exam for the first time (57.01%) passed.

“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,” she said.

Max-Uba further stated that the failure rate amongst the re-sit candidates was because many of them were either working or based outside Nigeria.

In addition, she expressed that most of the students protesting the poor results were the ones who “sat for the examinations four times without success because they refused to participate in revision classes organised for them prior to the examinations.” She also dismissed allegations that Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Olarenwaju Adesola Onadeko or any lecturer was responsible for “marking down students,” as examination papers are not marked by those who set the examinations.

Speaking on whether the results would be reviewed, she noted that candidates are free to apply for a review in accordance with rules set by the Council for Legal Education. Furthermore, she encouraged candidates who failed the exam to re-sit next year.

She also revealed that as a result of the poor performance of the students, the Board of Studies of the Council of Legal Education has mandated that henceforth, all re-sit candidates must attend a minimum of eight weeks compulsory revision classes at the Law School.


  1. ATL's FInest

    October 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Reallyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy???? 57.01% passed and you really call that precent “a Pass”? That’s a capital letter “F”.. In short that’s not even considered as “let my people go”.. That’s so below the belt and folks pay thousands to get a degree, no hope of getting a job and yet, they fall horribly. It’s extremely SAD and UNFAIR!!! Some shit ain’t right as far as I’m concerned.

    • Person

      October 22, 2014 at 1:05 am

      That’s the average pass rate for bar exams all over the world. Last year, only 43% of those that wrote the NY bar exams passed.

  2. Frances Okoro

    October 21, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I have read and re-read different views on this issue and truth be told, I feel like they are all just talks that may result in no tangible action being taken.
    Yes, I was part of this 2013/2014 set that wrote the exams, yes I scaled through even if I didn’t get the grade that Nigerians clamour for but still I am grateful.
    And my heart goes out to all that failed…
    but will law school review these results? Or add some marks like the students want? I pray they do, but most likely they wont.
    It’s all imbeded in this post, “anyone who wants to, can ask for review for their results” but a mass review by law school? Not likely.

  3. biols

    October 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

    indeed……… so how come he is giving a break down of those who resitted? what happened to breaking down those who took d exam? i read somewhere that NLS is claiming only 1000 pple failed out of 6000. so if 5000 people passed why is call to bar just 1day instead of 2? how can they possibly call 5000 students to the bar in 1day? in my time it was 3000 plus yet it was done in 2days?

  4. LILO

    October 21, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Una don hear? Go and carry your books and start studying for your re-sit. Come back next year but stronger. Don’t go and spend your time time begging for review as it’s unlikely that your odo will be converted to pass

  5. omotee

    October 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Why people are calling for Onadeko’s head baffles me. I genuinely feel bad for those who failed cos law school is tough, has always been but really there is a standard. Mark them down for what? The way bar finals questions are set if you miss them u miss them. If you get the principle right you are marked right. If you can support your answers with Cases or relevant authorities, great. Were there questions asked outside the syllabus? Were those topics covered? These are the real issues. Now going by th attitude of some of the Abuja law students alone, I can understand why they failed. Iranu ti poju. Sorry but its just true.

    • ABC

      October 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Exactly what I thought.

    • tunmi

      October 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you oh. Comparing it to the SAT, 1,672,395 students from the class of 2014 took the SAT and only 42.6% of SAT takers in the class of 2014 met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 is associated with a 65% probability of obtaining a first-year GPA of B- or higher at a four-year college.

      The statistics are not wholly unreasonably if one compares it to other exams.

  6. Godchid

    October 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    It is quite unfortunate that the Nigerian law school authorities gave false figure of the rate of students that fail the Barr finals exams and the reason for the failure. claiming must of those that fail are not regular students who were not attending lectures.That is not true, if it is true, then it is the fault of the authorities because one of the criteria to write the Barr final exams is that student must have 70% of lectures attendance. Also, why didn’t they talk about 1o minutes time reduction of multiple questions at the hall without notifying students earlier? What about the delay in bringing question paper? It is Cristal fact that time is very important to students because Barr exams is about testing speed and accuracy. most students while preparing for the Barr exam, prepare and practice to answer the 100 multiple questions in 60 minutes as normal time use since the establishment of law school, just for them to come to exam hall and were informed that the DG instructed that the time for multiple questions is reduced to 50 minutes . On the issue of organising compulsory lectures for resit students, is it going to be free of charge? considering the huge amount of school fee students are paying (300,000) apart from books, feeding etc. If resit students will pay additional fees, It seems to me that the rate of failure is deliberate to enable the law school authorities exploit students to make money for themselves. It is my humble opinion that the result be review and resit students should not pay additional charges.

    • Somebody

      October 22, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Surely you cannot be a lawyer.I hope you are not. Law school shouldn’t be churning out lawyers who can’t type an error free document. How on earth will you prepare a document if your command of English is so flawed? (Please take this as constructive criticism, it is not an insult).

      I read law, graduated with a fantastic grade in undergrad and Masters but Law school marred my brilliant academic feat with an ordinary Pass. This happened years ago. I was broken and emotionally unstable for quite some time, lost all confidence in myself. ‘Law school’ sure has no idea how much the grading system affects the course of one’s life. Top tier law firms would ‘hardly’ accept you with a Pass in law school. (emphasis on ‘hardly’ as there are some exceptional situations). Alas! all hope of being a great lawyer was dashed.

      But God had better plans. A job not related to law stricto sensu, but one that brings satisfaction and peace of mind.

      So don’t let your grades stop your dreams, don’t let Law school stop you. If you need to re-sit an exam, do it. If you need to find another course, go straight ahead, isn’t the legal profession overrated after all! Eissh, don’t let your dreams die.

  7. john

    October 22, 2014 at 7:18 am

    DG, pls consider ur stands and help d re-resiter to realized their dreams

  8. Taiwo

    October 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I’m not condemning those who failed the exams but if you have had the opportunity to read letters, agreements, posts and whatnot written by some of our so called lawyers, you wouldn’t be surprised at the results.
    I see a lot of folks love to abbreviate, misspell (e.g. success has become succezz, was is now wuz, sorry is now sowie, thanks is now tnx, please – pls, plz) , i am also guilty of doing this. However it gets hard to write properly when you are so used to this form of writing.
    A lot of law students also study for bar exams like they did in the university and this is totally wrong! Law school is a different ball game. I was lucky to get advice from some senior colleagues before I went to Law school and this really helped.

    To those who failed, I pray your next attempt would be a success or succezz as it is spelt nowadays.

  9. Gowon

    October 23, 2014 at 8:48 am

    This is also a part of decay in our educational system. In a kind of collosal failure like that, do we blame only the students? Is this not an avenue for the lecturers to assess themselves? This is not different from what is obtainable in our public universities where lecturers fail whoever they wish to fail with impunity. Considering the unaffordable fees they paid, they (students) should be allowed resit the exam free.

  10. GWE

    October 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Nigeria Law School!!!!!! Welcome aboard!!!!
    Ask any qualified chartered accountant how they scale through their exams. ICAN/ACCA/CIMA

  11. Emma

    October 25, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Mrs. Eze is a cheap liar, after all, she is another deviel after the DG. How many students took the exam and how many passed. The real percent is 48 not 57 as she claimed..

  12. nnamdi

    October 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    The DG of the Nigeria Law Scholl as well as the Members of the Nigeria Council of Legal Education are not good citizens to this country. Infact President Goodluck Jonathan should remove them immediately from office before they will trigger another round of violence on the nation that is overcharged with crisis. They call themselves tchnocracts. A technocract that cannot consider cogent factors before making any new policy is not qualified to occupy that position. Onadeko has proved that he is not competent to become the DG of of the Nigerian Law School. Sir Jegede occupied that position for many years without any crisis. Onadeko has occupied it for only 10 months and crisis has erupted in every segment of his administration.

    In a year the Nigerian Law School celebrated the Golden Jubilee is the year they would have recorded the highest number of call to bar and not the lowest.. So the Law school celebrated the golden jubilee in order to celebrate a golden failure. The golden jubilee celebration of the Nigerian Law School drew the attention of the whole world on the school. The DG due to his satanic and evil dispositions decided to frustarte the students by introducing sudden changes in the conduct of the exams without prior information to the students. 90% OF THE STUDENTS that failed did not fail because they cannot answer the questions, they failed but because of the harsh conditions under which the exam was conducted.

    1 Onadeko changed the official time for MCQ questions in the exam hall from 60mins to 50 mins. What was his intention for this new change………………………………. for the students to fail and they have failed and he is very happy ………OOOO How satanic and wicked a man.

    2 He suddenly changed the time of some theory papers from 3hrs to 2hrs 30mins in the exam hall. One will ask, what was his plans for this change in duration of the exam. The answer is simple. He wants the students to fail. He is claiming that those that failed are the resit candidates. Why wont they fail when they knew the time alloted to their papers were suddenly changed This affected their composure in the exam hall. 88 among the resit candidate PASSED and 1190 of the resit candidates FAILED.. The members of the Council ofLegal Education did not ask what went wrong with the exam and rushed to release the result of a defective exam in a Golden Year. One will ask, how are they qualified to occupy that position when they cannot detect an anomaly in a given situation. They claimed that they failed because they did attend lectures before the exam. What of the previous years when resit candidates have been passing without attending lectures under Sir Jegede.?

    3 Again, The DG rushed candidates into the exam hall and sat them down for more than 1 hr without adminstering the question papers. Some of the candidates became frustrated and exhausted before the exam started after sitting down idle for more than 1 hrr . In this frustration, The DG suddenly shortened the time to ensure that they will never finish what they are writing. If you check the exam scripts of the candidates, you will notice that 9o% of the candidates did not answer all the questions not on the basis that they did not know the ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS but on the ground that time alloted to the questions were reduced suddenly.

    4 According to reported information on the net, The DG rejected the result submitted to him by the independent markers and proceeded to remark the scripts with instruction to mark down students that graduated with pass and 3rd class degrees from their universities. If you check that result, nearly all the students that graduated with pass degree and 3rd calss degree from their respective universities failed the bar 11 exam. This is a wrong system of grading when in previous years ubder sir Jegede, many students that graduated with pass and 3rd class degree made 1st class, 2nd class upper, and 2nd class lower.

    5 The DG ONCE DELARED that there are to many lawyers in Nigeria and he will reduce the number of call to bar from this year. This Onadeko is an ignorant man indeed. He should know that every family in Nigeria needs a lawyer and a medical doctor. So let him know that his plans of frustrating students , parents and families will not only be resisted by man, it will be also be resisted by the Spirits and by God. I want to ask Onadeko, how many lawyers do we have in each state in the Northern part of Nigeria ? In this result, some states in the Northern Nigeria did not record one pass. So at the call to bar in November , some states will not celeberate while nearly every candidate from his state passed.

    We really mourn the death of GANI FAWEHIMI. If he is still alive, HE would have challenged Onadeko and the council of legal education in the law court on the obnoxious conduct of the August 2014 bar 11 exam. Well, i think the likes of Femi Falana, Olisa Agbakoba, Festus Keyamu Dr Olu Onagorowa etc should rise up against this ignoble act that was executed on the Nigerian citizens that wrote the August 2014 bar 11 exam.

    Tension is rising on daily basis as a result of this golden jubillee bar 11 result failure. IN order to forestall any negative consequence on the polity that is overcharged already , they should rewiew that result as soon as possible

    • 'Lanre

      September 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      I have recommendation for Reform at the Nigerian Law School. Please email me at [email protected] for a copy.

  13. omotee

    October 28, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Dear Nnamdi, I hope to God that you’re not a lawyer. Calling on Fawehinmi and Onagoruwa to turn failure to pass cos people are shouting has just raised the bar on… Funny (for want of the appropriate word) ideas and solutions.

    I’d have thought you’d say something like affected students should call for their papers to justify the failure. Really, that would put an end to all these “am sure I passed but they failed me” tactics.

    The Bar needs some standards and I’m in full support of everything to ensure the tandard is maintained. You can’t get through some briefs without tylenol. Inelegant drafting everywhere. Lawyers arguing rubbish in Court. Research is a dying phenomenon.

    Pls. Let’s embrace any method that will cure the decay in the Judiciary.

  14. Hassan Umar

    April 15, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    May Almighty help the followers 2014/2015

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