OAU Faculty of Law

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The Faculty of Law of Obafemi Awolowo University was established in 1962 during a period the country was in need of skilled lawyers for legislative and judicial work in the post independence nation building. Prior to the late 1950s, legal education was given little encouragement in Nigeria leading to most students of law studying abroad and learning the foreign legal systems with little focus on Nigerians laws. The new faculty then made an attempted emphasis to train lawyers knowledgeable about the fundamentals of the Nigerian legal system including issues in the corporate environment, however, the faculty has been hampered by insufficient academic staff partly due to the allure of private practice.

Students of the faculty organize major activities around a law students society while the faculty has published the Ife Law Reports and the Ife Law Journal.


  • Department of Business Law
  • Department of International Law
  • Department of Jurisprudence and Private Law
  • Department of Public Law


The faculty was promoted to be among the first departments of the university and to be a top notch legal education center by the sponsors of the university among whom included the chairman of the provisional council, an eminent Nigerian lawyer, Rotimi Williams. Williams brought in a professor from Oxford university as a consultant, while another adviser, Dr F.A. Ajayi of the regional ministry of Justice offered his services. Another civil servant, O.I. Odumosu was brought in to start the faculty in July 1962, Odumosu later became an acting dean and dean. Among the early staff members were A.B. Kasumu, Olu Odumosu, Prof Handbury and A.A. Okunniga. About 15 students were enrolled in the first academic session where the Nigerian Legal System, English Legal System, English Constitutional Law and the Law of Contract was taught in a one department faculty.

The deparment later made reviews to its curriculum including the addition of more humanities classes for its students and domestic law programs. The faculty also started accumulating a library and engaged in a customary law research project.

In 1975, four departments were created; Public Law, International Law, Jurisprudence and Private Law and Business Law. The new departments were to serve as a means of mobility and specialization in the academic ranks, to increase research output and undergraduate and post graduate courses. However, the faculty was unable to recruit enough staff to mann the departments.

Notable faculty

External links