Top 5 Best Universities in Nigeria To Study Law (2020)

Best University to Study Law In Nigeria

In Nigeria today, Law is one of the most competitive courses in Nigeria. This is not a surprise because it is the prime course of Arts and Humanities. Many Arts and Humanities students always think of becoming a lawyer one day.  The best university to study law in Nigeria are listed below…

Best university to study law in Nigeria

This article is to inform you of the  Top 5 best universities to study law in Nigeria. You must be wondering which of the Nigerian Universities are good when it comes to Law. This article will tell you all you need to know. Below are the Top 5 best university to study Law in Nigeria today. To know the best universities in Nigeria to study law, ensure to read this article to the end.

Best University to study Law in Nigeria

Obafemi Awolowo university
Obafemi Awolowo University

5. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is one of the best university to study law in Nigeria and it was one of the three Universities established in Nigeria between 1961 and 1962 as a result of the report submitted to the Federal Government in September 1960, by a Commission it appointed in April 1959 under the Chairmanship of Sir Eric Ashby, Master of Clare College, Cambridge, to survey the needs of post-secondary and higher education in Nigeria over the next twenty years. On 8th June 1961, the Law providing for the establishment of the Provisional Council of the University was formally inaugurated under the Chairmanship of Chief Rotimi Williams.

On 11th June 1970, an Edict known as the University of Ife edict, 1970 was promulgated by the Government of the Western State to replace the Provisional Council Law of 8th June 1961. This Edict has since been amended by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (Amended) Edict No. 112 of 1975 (Transitional Provisions) Decree No.

23 of 1975. This new Decree affected a takeover of the Obafemi Awolowo University by the Federal Military Government and established a Provisional Council as an interim governing body of the University which shall subject to the general direction of the Head of the Federal Government, control the policies and finances of the University and manage its affairs. This Provisional Council has since been replaced by a Governing Council.

The University started with five Faculties – Agriculture, Arts, Economics and Social studies (now Social Sciences), Law and Science. Six new Faculties have since been added, namely the Faculty of Education (established on 1st October 1967), the Faculty of Pharmacy (established on 1st October 1969), the Faculties Technology and Health Sciences (now College of Health Sciences) (both established on 1st October 1960), Faculty of Administration with effect from 1st October 1979)    and  Faculty of   Environmental Design and Management (established on April 6, 1982).

In 1992, the University established a collegiate system with five Colleges. The system did not function effectively and was abandoned after two years. However, Postgraduate College and the College of Health Sciences were retained. The College of Health Sciences now comprises the Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, and Dentistry.

Obafemi Awolowo University is another notable university in Nigeria. Popularly known as OAU, a very competitive university in the country. It is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria today.


University of Nigeria Nsukka
University of Nigeria, Nsukka

4. University of Nigeria, NSUKKA (UNN)

The University of Nigeria is one of the best university to study law in Nigeria and it is fondly called ‘UNN’ was founded by the administration of the Premier of the Eastern Region, Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955, five years before Nigeria’s Independence, and began academic activities on 7 October 1970 with an enrollment of 220 students and 13 members of staff. Established on the concept of service to the problems and needs of Nigerians, UNN has since grown from its humble backgrounds to become one of the top five elite Universities in the country.


The University of Nigeria, a citadel of higher learning is made up of three campuses located at strategic locations in Enugu State. They include; The main campus in Nsukka which hosts students, varieties of academic programs and is home to ten (10) faculties as well as the Postgraduate (PG) school, Research Institutes and Centres; The Enugu campus also called ‘UNEC’ located in Enugu town which is composed of four (4) faculties, and finally; Ituku Ozalla campus which houses the University’s teaching hospital, the faculty of Medical Sciences and the College of Medicine.

UNN currently has 15 faculties and 102 academic departments offering 82 undergraduate programs and 211 postgraduate programs. These programmes/courses lead to officially recognized degrees such as Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate degrees in diverse fields of study and are also accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Currently ranked as the 4th best University in the Country and 1,750 in the world by, UNN stands as the first fully-fledged, autonomous University in Nigeria and the first institution established by a Regional Government.

The University of Nigeria came into existence when it became mandatory to establish a university in the Eastern Region. The law was passed on 18 May 1955. A very popular university with a special name. Their law faculty is among the best in the country. It is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria today.

Best university to study Law.

Study lat at University of Ibadan
University of Ibadan

3. University of Ibadan (UI)

The University of Ibadan is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria. It started off as the University College, Ibadan (UCI) which was founded in 1948, occupying, at first, the old site at Eleyele. It later moved to the new site which covered over 2,550 acres of land. The site was generously leased by the chiefs and people of Ibadan for 999 years. The establishment of the University could be traced directly to the reports in 1945 of the Asquith and Elliot Commissions which were set up by the British Government in 1943. Equipment was transferred to the university from its sub-university status forerunners, the Yaba Higher College, (established in 1932 but formally opened in 1934), and the Yaba Medical School (established in 1930). There were 104 foundation students (including 49 students in teacher training and survey courses) who began their courses at Ibadan on 18 January 1948. The formal opening took place on 25 March 1948.

In February 1948, London University allowed Ibadan its special relationship scheme. Arthur Creech Jones, then-Secretary of State for the Colonies, and an influential member of Elliot Commission cut the first sod at the permanent site of the University College on 17 November 1948, which thereafter became the Foundation Day.
For the foundation medical students, the facilities provided in 1948 by the Native Administration Hospital at Adeoyo and the Government Hospital Jericho, for which the Faculty of Medicine was responsible, were inadequate.

Consequently, medical students of the earlier years went to London University for clinical training. To provide more satisfactory clinical facilities at Ibadan, the Nigerian Government made available funds for the building of the 500-bed University Teaching Hospital which was completed in 1957. Thereafter, medical students were fully trained in Ibadan, the first batch graduating in 1960.
With the expansion of facilities at Ibadan, the number of students offered admission increased. In the 1958-59 sessions, UCI for the first time had a little over 1,000 students; in 1963-64, the figure exceeded 2,000; and topped the 3,000 marks in 1968-69.

The figure for 1972-73 was 4,110 and, for 1974-75 and 1975-76, 5,369 and 7,375 respectively. Some of these students included those residents at the Jos Campus, which began with an enrolment of 101 students in the 1971-72 sessions. In the 1973-74 session, the Jos Campus had 326 students most of whom were prepared for courses in the Faculty of Arts. In the 1975-76 sessions, the number of students at Jos increased to 550. On 25 September 1975, however, the Government announced the creation of a University of Jos, and arrangements were made to transfer second-year students in Jos to Ibadan and to hand over the campus at the end of the 1975-76 session to the new administration at Jos University.

The Government also announced the setting up of a new University College at Ilorin, to be affiliated to the University of Ibadan. In 1976-77, the total number of students at the University of Ibadan was 8,586. In the 1984/85 sessions, the student population was 13,862.
Since the 1989/90 session, the student population has increased to 14,000 in accordance with the directive of the National Universities Commission (NUC) of ten percent (10%) growth for the first generation universities in Nigeria. As at the end of the 1992/93 session, the student population was 14,632. In addition, there were over three thousand five hundred (3, 500) external degree students who receive lectures, tutorials on a part-time basis. Moreover, the University’s Institute of Education runs an Associate Certificate of Education program for Grade Two Teachers at different centers in Nigeria.

The University of Ibadan, then University College, awarded its first postgraduate degree in 1952 when the University was under a “scheme of special relation” with the University of London. By 1962, when University College transformed into an independent University of Ibadan, 64 students were registered for graduate degrees. Since becoming an independent academic institution in 1962, the University of Ibadan has enrolled 81,768 postgraduate students and awarded 45,709 higher degrees, including 2 DSC. 4,366 PhDs, 36 MD/MS, 4,700 Mphil/Professional Master’s Degrees, 32,3254 Academic Master’s Degree, and 4,281 Postgraduate Diplomas. During the last academic year alone, 5,789 students were enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Over the years, the University of Ibadan graduates have meaningfully contributed to society in many ways from establishing other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria to impacting various sectors of the global economy. Several alumni have also returned to the University of Ibadan as professors and staff.
Larger admissions over the years and limited funds for providing accommodation facilities gradually threatened the concept of a residential University at Ibadan. The Jos campus, when established, experimented with off-campus accommodation. From the 1972-73 sessions, students, at the Ibadan campus have also been allowed to live off-campus in large numbers. Married students are encouraged to live off-campus.

There are ten undergraduate Halls of Residence (Mellanby, Tedder, Kuti, Sultan Bello, Queen Elizabeth II, Alexander Brown (situated at UCH), Independence, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Idia, Obafemi Awolowo) and two postgraduate Halls of Residence, namely, Tafawa Balewa and the New Postgraduate Hall. It should be noted that Obafemi Awolowo Hall that, hitherto, provided accommodation for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of both sexes became an exclusively undergraduate Hall of Residence (for both sexes) from the 2001/2002 session.

Until 1972, each Hall of Residence had its own catering facilities, but steps were taken during that year towards providing a more centralized catering service. The Central Cafeteria, with a capacity for 1,600 students, was completed on 4 January 1976 and catered for the majority of students. Because of the larger number of students, however, catering services continued to be provided by selected caterers in Independence, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Queen Elizabeth, Tafawa Balewa, and Alexander
Brown Halls. Official catering for students ceased in 1984, in consonance with the Federal Government directive to Federal Universities to disengage from Hall catering services for students. However, in the 2001/2002 session, the University Administration decided to appoint two Catering Contractors for each Hall of Residence. Food is sold to students on the pay-as-you-eat system.
Student Unionism

The University of Ibadan is one of the oldest universities that has been offering Law. The university is located at the heart of Oyo State and is ranked number one as the best university in Nigeria by “4icu”. They have one of the most renowned law programs in the country. It is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria today.

University of Lagos best university to study law
University of Lagos

2. University of Lagos (UNILAG)

Unilag is one of the best university to study law in Nigeria and it was founded in 1962, the University of Lagos has, for over 5 decades, provided qualitative and research-oriented education to Nigerians and all those who have entered its domain in search of knowledge. At its inception, the University of Lagos was empowered to produce a professional workforce that would steer the political, social, and economic development of a newly independent country. Over the last fifty years, the University has pursued this mission with vigor, excellence, and panache. The University has built a legacy of academic excellence and is now acclaimed publicly as “the University of First Choice and the Nation’s Pride.”

The establishment of the University of Lagos in 1962 was informed by the need to intensify the training of a professional workforce for a newly independent Nigeria in search of rapid industrialization and economic development. It was however quite evident that the country lacked the requisite workforce to actualize the people’s dream. There was a big gulf to be filled, and that required establishing many more universities.

Towards this end, the Federal Government established the Eric Ashby Commission on Post School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria in May 1959. The Ashby Commission’s report, titled Investment in Education, recommended the establishment of a new university in Lagos, the then Federal Capital, to offer day and evening courses in Commerce, Business Administration, Economics, and Higher Management Studies. In 1961, the Federal Government assigned the detailed planning of the new university to a UNESCO Advisory Commission.

However, whereas the Ashby Commission had envisaged a non-residential institution which would be cited in the business district of Central Lagos, the UNESCO Commission opted for a traditional university, “a complete all-encompassing institution” with residential accommodation on a large campus. Following the acceptance of the UNESCO Commission’s report, the University of Lagos was established on 22nd October 1962 on the authority of the University of Lagos Act of 1962.

The Act provided for an eleven-member Provisional Council for the University, a Senate to preside over academic affairs, and a separate Council for the Medical School located at the University Teaching Hospital at Idi-Araba, a few kilometers away from the main (Akoka) campus. This was rather unique for, by the authority of the Act, the University consisted of two separate institutions—the main university and an autonomous Medical School. The link between the two institutions was tenuous at best, consisting of reciprocal representation on both Councils and membership in the University Senate by professors in the Medical School.

The University began with three faculties: Commerce and Business Administration, Law and Medicine. At its first meeting, the Board of the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration changed the name to the Faculty of Business and Social Studies. The faculties of Arts, Education, Engineering, and Science were added in 1964.

The University of Lagos is no doubt an excellent university when it comes to academics. The university produced a lot of notable Nigerians both at home and abroad. It is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria today.

Study Law in University of Ilorin
University of Ilorin

1. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) 

The University of Ilorin is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria and it began in 1975 as a University College affiliated to the University of Ibadan. Dr. T.N. Tamuno who was a Professor and Head of the History Department at the University of Ibadan was appointed the first Principal of the College in September 1975. By December 1975, Tamuno was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan. As a result, Professor O.O. Akinkugbe was appointed as the new Principal for the University of Ilorin (then, a University College) in 1975. Akinkugbe was the former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

Akinkugbe, made several visits to the second Military Governor of Kwara State, the late Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo in connection with the new institution, such that by March 1976, he had established residence at Ilorin. The support given to the fledgling Institution by Governor Taiwo continued even more vigorously under the third Military Governor of the State, Brigadier George Agbazika Innis, who ceded a portion of the land of the Kwara State College of Technology to the University. In October 1977, the institution attained full autonomous status with the appointment of Professor O.O Akinkugbe as the first Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The first set of 200 students were admitted on 23 October 1976 following an entrance examination and academic work started on 25 October 1976 following the Principal’s address. The University College started with three academic faculties: Arts, Science and Education. The University started off on a portion of the temporary campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic known as the mini-campus. The mini-campus was the site of academic programmes for the Faculties of Arts, Science, Education, Engineering & Technology, Business and Social Sciences, and Basic Clinical Sciences section of the Health Sciences Faculty.

All operations of the University were conducted on the mini-campus until January 1982 when more than 1000 students studying in sciences were moved to the permanent site of the institution following the completion of new Faculty blocks and residences for Natural Sciences and Engineering in the site. In 1983, the law programme was established as a Department under the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences. Following a 6-year hiatus, the Law Department was accorded a full-fledged Faculty status in 1993.

The University has fifteen Faculties and dozens of (over 60) Academic Departments. The faculties existing in the University of Ilorin now are Arts, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Management Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Communication, and Information Sciences, Education, Engineering and Technology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Law, Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical Sciences (the last two faculties are operating under the University College of Health Sciences). In addition, there are two Institutes – Institute of Education and Unilorin Sugar Research Institute, this is in addition to a full-fledged Postgraduate School. The University also has several centers notably among which are: Centre for Ilorin Studies, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Ilorin Business School, and so on.

Undergraduate Degree programmes run for 3–5, or 6 years, depending on entry qualifications and chosen discipline. Similarly, the postgraduate programs are run on different dimensions depending on the nature of the program. It is one of the best universities to study law in Nigeria today.

These are the top 5 best university to study Law in Nigeria 2022. There are other good universities when it comes to Law, but these are the top 5.

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About Mr Jay 474 Articles
Nwachukwu Chukukwuebuka J. known as (Mr. Jay) is the founder and editor of DONBIGS. He loves keeping students/readers updated with educational news from various sources.

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