Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have launched a website to press for the release of their remanded colleagues.
According to a statement on the website (https://bit.ly/freeoau5) promoted by the left-leaning Education Right Campaign, the students said they had evidence and witnesses to counter the charges of harassing and assaulting the university staff against their colleagues.
However, they said the police threatened to shoot them in a desperate bid to prevent them from supporting their colleagues at the court in Ile-Ife on Thursday.
The Coordinator of Education Right Campaign, Dunnex Samuel told our correspondent that website (https://bit.ly/freeoau5) was launched to afford the public the details of the unfolding situation at OAU, following the forced eviction of students from a hostel on Wednesday.
The activist said the overreaching goal is to ensure the remanded students regain their freedom.
Read the full statement on the website.
On the 21st of March, 2018, The school management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; instructed Moremi hall porters to evict all the female students and their belongings. It is well known to the management that the school is running programs like Student Work Experience Practice(SWEP), Student Industrial Work Experience(SIWES), Teaching Practice(TP), Final Year Projects, all these programs require the involved students to stay back in school throughout the break.
Where do they want us to live? On this note, some students gathered up at Moremi entrance to question the gruesome activities of the school security and porters which involved: Throwing down all the properties of students from two-storey blocks, chasing the defenseless ladies out, destroying the ladies’ properties, and other inhumane acts, if you were present there, you would question if the staff had children at home.
The students that questioned the hall porters were not intimidated by the school security threats and curses, so the highly esteemed Vice Chancellor saw it ‘wise’ to call on external forces, who? The Nigerian Police Force! Five of the students including one Adeniyi John who was taking a video of the event were dragged and bundled away in a Toyota Hilux vehicle to the Police HQ in Moore, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. The management connived and accused the students of beating up Moremi hall porters and locking up the hall warden, this can be seen on the main page. The student spent Wednesday night in police custody and immediately by 8 a.m the next morning (Thursday) were transferred to a high court in Ife where nobody was allowed to enter as only the school management, and school lawyers were allowed, the students’ trial was done in secret without any lawyer defending them.
Students and friends of the victimized students gathered in the court entrance, a student who witnessed the whole Wednesday’s occurrence wanted to stand as witnesses and we even had video evidence to disprove the accusation but the police threatened us with guns and ended up throwing tear gas and pepper spray on the students.
The secretly done brief trial resulted in the judge(who escaped quickly through the back entrance) giving each student a bail option of five hundred thousand naira (500,000 naira) and two level 12 civil servants living in Ile-Ife as sureties.
The five students, as at Thursday 22nd of March, 2018, have been imprisoned in Koshere prison, Ile-Ife awaiting the next trial on April 3rd, 2018. It is very obvious that the school management plans to ruin the students’ lives and make the students rot in prison” as the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ogunbodede stated in his reply to a Facebook post. We don’t know what would be going through the students’ parents mind if I can recall, just last week, one of the imprisoned students was soliciting funds for his dad’s 8.5 million naira surgery. We pray God holds their parents.
The names of the students remanded are Oyediji Samson, Olajide Ademola, Oloniniran Gbenga, Jimoh Oladipupo and Adeniyi John.
A national organization on legal affairs, Gavel.ng has decided to take up the case for free and we have had an extensive talk with them and they advised us to let them help us get the students out as soon as possible, they said we shouldn’t worry about the money but we should get 10 sureties for the students because if not, the students will be in prison as long as the case is adjourned again and again till everyone forgets.
We are calling on everyone who sees this great injustice and the slap on the national education to please:
Contact anyone ina high position to help
Fill the surety form if you know anyone willing to stand as a surety for these innocent students
Sign the petition that the students should be released with immediate effect
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