OBJECTION TO FUNDING FREE EDUCATION IS A BREACH OF THE CONSTITUTION –COURT

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[Abuja]– A Federal high Court in Abuja had on Wednesday, March 01, 2017, ruled that both federal and state governments have constitutional duties to provide adequate funds for free education, as objection to this is a breach of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Justice John Tsoho

Justice John Tsoho, while delivering the judgement in a suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) against the Federal Ministry of Education and the Attorney General of the Federation, declared free and compulsory basic education up to Junior Secondary School as an enforceable right for every Nigerian child.

The court noted that ordinarily , the right to free education in section 18(3 )(a) of the Constitution was not enforceable like all other rights provided for in the Chapter 2 of the Constitution .

But the judge held that the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act , of 2004, enacted by the National Assembly had elevated the right to an enforceable status.

LEDAP, a non-government organization, in their suit, had asked the court to among others, determine whether by the combined effect of section 18(3)(a) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 2 (1) of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act, (UBE) 2004, the right to free and compulsory primary education and free junior secondary education for all qualified Nigerian citizens are enforceable rights in Nigeria.

In the suit, it was held that the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Constitution, even though they are not enforceable by virtue of section 6(6)(b) of the constitution, could be made enforceable or justiciable by legislation.




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