Former Exam Cheater and Law Professor Elevated to Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In a surprising turn of events, Benedicta Lopez Daudu, who faced exam malpractice allegations during her master’s degree program at the University of Jos in 2016, has been confirmed as a senior advocate of Nigeria by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC).
Daudu’s journey to this prestigious legal position took a tumultuous path. In 2016, she was caught cheating during an examination, which resulted in her suspension from the University of Jos for two semesters. She was also indefinitely shelved from her staff position within the school’s department of international law and jurisprudence.
However, her recent elevation to senior advocate status has raised questions about the rigor of the selection process for this honor. While most of the new senior lawyers on the list have no public controversies, Daudu’s past exam misconduct incident has resurfaced, bringing her promotion under scrutiny.
Daudu, who has since become a law professor at Taraba State University, was not available for comments regarding her promotion. The Supreme Court, under which the LPPC operates, declined to comment on her promotion as well.
Despite having moved on from the University of Jos, her exam malpractice case remained documented in public records, which likely influenced the LPPC’s decision. Furthermore, she had been excluded from President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption panel, led by Itse Sagay, due to her involvement in the cheating incident.
In 2021, some media outlets reported that Daudu had been cleared of any wrongdoing by the University of Jos, with her privileges supposedly restored. However, the school’s registrar, Monday Danjem, refuted these claims and detailed the school’s stance on the matter.
The University vehemently denied that Daudu had been absolved of the allegations of Examination Misconduct and clarified that she had sued the school for terminating her employment as a law lecturer, a position she lost in court.
After resigning from her appointment in November 2019, Daudu filed multiple legal actions, leading to negotiations that concluded with her resignation, readmission as a student, and the payment of outstanding salaries during her suspension. Nevertheless, she was never reinstated as a staff member, and the school did not issue an apology.
The elevation of Benedicta Lopez Daudu to a senior advocate of Nigeria, despite her past misconduct, has ignited a debate within the legal community about the selection process for such prestigious titles. This development comes at a time when Nigeria’s judiciary faces growing challenges related to corruption and injustice, further highlighting the need for transparency and accountability in the legal profession.