OAU Risks Litigation As Suspended Students’ Lawyer Write School
The management of the school had suspended the students – Ibukun Omole, final year Civil Engineering; Oluwadele Babatunde, part three English Language; and John Udeh, part two English Language – on the ground they posed threat to the members of the university community and its social service functions, after allegedly participating in a violent protest last month.
However, the students made the demand for their recall through their counsel Alfred Adegoke in a letter to the management of the school.
According to the letter dated 25th of October and made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the counsel said the suspension of the students was unconstitutional as it was against the provision of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The letter added that one of the suspected students, Omole Ibukun, a final year student of department of Civil Engineering, was not on campus but in Osogbo for private family engagement on the day of the protest, that formed the basis of the suspension.
The letter reads in part: “Take notice that in the event of your failure to accede to the provision of our demands, our client shall have no other option than to take all available democratic and legal actions to enforce his constitutionally entrenched right.”
Speaking with Yemi Abiona, a partner of the chamber of Alfred Adegoke, he confirmed the issuance of the letter to Premium Times and explained that they’ve not gotten a reply from the university as regards the sent letter. “Up till now, we’ve not gotten any response from the school,” he said. “There is nothing unlawful in citizens protesting. It is a democratic right of everyone not to talk of students. The university environment should be a place to build people with divergent views and not dummies. We expect the University to take adequate actions to save itself from embarrassment.”
However, the Public Relations Officer of Obafemi Awolowo University, Abiodun Olanrewaju has said the law firm could not compel the university to recall the students, brushing aside threats of litigation.
“Look, a lawyer cannot compel the university administration to undo what have been done. There were procedures that were followed in arriving at the suspension of such students and no legal practitioner from anywhere will just use fiat to ask the university management to reinstate students. It is not done anywhere! The best any lawyer can do is to take the university to court and not writing from the comfort of his chambers.” Mr. Abiodun said.