“This Dean is going to take the School of Law from where it is now to a leading law school and make it the best, to represent what Africa is and will be about in the 21st century.”
With these words, on August 14 President Dekle commissioned the upgraded School of Law auditorium, expressing her support for the school’s pioneer Dean, Prof. Oladejo Olowu, and her faith that the law program at AUN would become a model for the continent.
Placing the new school squarely in the University’s mission as a development university, the President pointed out that, “It’s vital to the future of Nigeria to have the rule of law. For the outside world to have confidence again in Nigeria as a nation, you have to have the rule of law.”
The upgraded auditorium now has very comfortable chairs. Describing the 161-seat auditorium, President Dekle said it is the future African leaders’ ‘sacred space’. “Sacred space because when you enter the room, you let the guards down. You’re open to growth. You are open to the mentors who are going to teach you.”
Before the project launch, Arc. Abubakar Bunu, the Executive Director of Projects, gave a brief history of the Peter Okocha Building that houses the School of Law. He said it was one of the first structures approved by the first set of AUN board members, envisaged to be a multipurpose hall. In the earlier years of the University, the building has housed the University library, the office of the VP of Academic Affairs, the IT offices, and the Student Affairs offices, among other functions.
Prof. Olowu said the upgrade of the Washington Hall follows from the recommendation of the National Universities Commission and the Council of Legal Education. He thanked the leadership of the University, and that of the Facilities Management. “We are going to make very good use of this auditorium. Of course, to whom much is given, much is expected.”
Prof. Muhammadou Kah, making his first public appearance as the newly appointed Provost of the University, recalled the building from his earlier days at AUN. “I have been privileged to be associated with this as well. This is huge and profound and significant. The last time I was here, interestingly enough was when the entire AUN community gathered in this Washington Hall to bid me farewell [I was the founding Dean of SITC] as I left to assume office as the VC of the University of The Gambia.”
By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa