Mr. Emmanuel Olayinka, the acting president of the suspended Student Union Government of the Federal College of Education, Oyo has claimed he was not responsible for leading the students’ protest of September 18, 2017 for which he was expelled from the institution.
Speaking with Sahara Reporters, Mr. Emmanuel affirmed that the protest which was as a result of a misinformation on campus that a student died at the College’s clinic was not led by him.
He claimed that he was even out of the school’s campus on the day of the protest due to health issues: “There was a misinformation on campus that a female student had died in the College’s clinic whereas she died at home. This coupled with the negative impression the students had of the clinic made them to embark on the protest. Unfortunately, the protest was hijacked by people from outside the campus and it developed into a mob action in which properties of the school were destroyed.
The school management suspended the students’ union, demanded that each of the students pay the sum of N20,000 before they can sit for their examinations, and expelled 15 students from the institution and four students were suspended for four semesters.”
“On the day we commenced the exam, the students were complaining about the fact that we were writing three papers a day and I tried to calm them, but the Dean of Students’ Affairs came with police from Jobele Afijio and I was arrested. However, I manage to escape when the students were shouting at the policemen which resulted in the policemen shooting at them.
“I returned to the police station where the Divisional Police Officer in charge, Mr Chime, said he has been instructed by the Deputy Provost, who is a former police officer, to detain me and not allow me return to the school until the exams are over. I was detained for a day, my exam pass was seized and N60,000 was collected from my parents.”
He said the school management summoned them to an investigation panel, but after the examination, 15 were expelled while four were suspended for four semesters.
He said, “It is very unfortunate that the school’s governing council approved the decision that 15 students should be expelled and four students should be suspended for four semester which amounts to two academic sessions and we were given the letters after the final exams through our Head of Departments on February 2. In the letter, it was written that sequel to our appearance before a disciplinary committee in view of our active participation in the students’ protest, the school governing council.”
On the actions taken by the affected students to challenge the decision of the management of the school, he said, “I personally reacted to the letter. I write a letter of appeal to the provost of the institution that I am not guilty of any office so I should not be expelled. I gave various reasons why I should not be expelled from the college. I stated reasons like I was not on campus, so how do you expect me to actively involved, they should provide evidences and proofs that I was involved, and that I was not summon before the disciplinary committee which makes their decision wrong.
“I stated that in line with the college’s Handbook, one must face a disciplinary committee before any disciplinary measures can be meted out which they failed to do before taking the decisions. I faulted the decision with reasons like that and submitted the letter to the provost’s building. Some of my affected colleagues also wrote their own letter of appeal citing reasons of their own as regards the decision of expulsion and suspension respectively.”
“After that, I went on air at Fresh FM, Ibadan to make a public report on what has been going on for the past two – three months now in which the College and its community have failed to respond to. The college management was also called to come and respond, and I think they admitted that they are wrong.”
He for lifting of the suspension on the students’ union as well as the reconsideration of their studentship.
According to him, a lawyer is currently demanding the sum of one million naira as legal fees to file a challenge against the decision of the College before the lapse of 90 days.
He said, “The lawyer is currently asking for N1,000,000. I don’t know where to get that amount from before that time. So, I am using this medium to seek justice for myself and my colleagues.”
When contacted, the Dean of Students’ Affairs of the college, Dr David Olaniyi Aikomo, said the claim that the students were not given audience before the punishments were slammed on them is false.
“There is evidence of them being summoned before a committee and the decisions were taken cased on the findings of that committee. The affected students can challenge that decision whenever they feel like. I am sure the Nigerian law allows that whenever you feel someone has wronged you, you can challenge such a person in court.” Aikomo said.