Two months after the release of a CAMPUS REPORTER report, the school management of Gateway Polytechnic in Ogun State has reinstated Ayoola Babalola’s access to the school portal.
Earlier this year, PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr Babalola was arrested and charged to court on six counts for alleged incitement and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace. He was accused by the Ogun State chapter of the DSS of participating in protests and inciting violence through Facebook posts, according to the charge sheet. After his acquittal, PREMIUM TIMES also reported that Mr Babalola, who was arrested by State Security Service (SSS) operatives, was yet to gain access to the school portal for his result and transcript.
Mr Babalola said the development has made it impossible for him to proceed with his Higher National Diploma (HND) and Direct Entry since he graduated last year.
However, a few weeks after the report was published, the school management invited him for a peace meeting in order to release his results.
In a recorded phone call, Mr Babalola’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said he received communication from an official of the secret police in December, which he shared with PREMIUM TIMES, that the agency said it was inviting Mr Babalola to answer questions on the issues that had resulted in the resignation of a lecturer, O.A. Salami, from the institution.
Speaking to CAMPUS REPORTER about the release of his result, Mr Babalola said the victory is for Nigerian students and the Union of Campus Journalists.
He also thanked PREMIUM TIMES and CAMPUS REPORTER for playing the lead role in holding the school management accountable.
“The reinstatement of my portal is a development I welcome and I must say I appreciate. It’s a victory for me and a victory for Nigerian students generally and for the Union of Campus Journalists because the current democratic space in Nigeria is being threatened by a lot of vices and it’s only more reassuring that if you stick with your ideology and you fight within the tool you have in the law you will get the victory.
“I feel good and I am happy. With this, I will be able to proceed with my education and generally, I feel it will inspire other people to stand with their conviction because I see the media as a tool for social change and mass education. We can’t allow the people in power to dictate what is right for us. Generally, It’s a victory for those who want to lend their voices to social change.
“I can’t appreciate CAMPUS REPORTER and PREMIUM TIMES enough, of course, they have played the lead role in holding the management of my institutions accountable and I can tell you categorically that it’s by the intensified media reports by PREMIUM TIMES and Sahara Reporters that have made this possible. I want to thank them and say they are doing incredible awesome work.”
He ended by calling on institutions to grow intellectuals not cage them.
Incessant Press Attacks
A recent report by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), shows that about 160 journalists were attacked in Nigeria in the last two years.
“The report was prepared by the PTCIJ’s press freedom project and collated cases through the Press Attack Tracker, a civic technology tool designed to track and report attacks on the press.
“The tool provides a data-driven advocacy response to the continued repression of the media through physical attacks, arrests and detentions, unconstitutional legal proceedings, repressive laws, and cyberattacks amongst others.
“The report shows that the police, thugs and political figures were responsible for most of the attacks faced by journalists. The other aggressors are civilians, the State Security Service (SSS) and security aides.”
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