[continued from last week]
The dismissed students and their parents are also contending that the university regulations which made provision for a right of appeal were denied them. They point to Section 9(vii) which states: “the student concerned has a right of appeal to council, against the decision of the disciplinary committee within two weeks of the receipt of the letter conveying the decision of the committee to him or her,” to support their position.
The students and their parents, allege that they never received any letter. The only information available on their expulsion and other disciplinary action against them was what they read on the university website, they said.
Some of parents allege that, on learning of the development, they wrote letters of appeal to the university registrar. One of them, Chief Olu Shadrack Aiyemoniafe, father of Tosin, said he was very distraught when he learnt that his only son has been expelled from the university. Two of his daughters, he informed The Sun Education, had passed through the same university without any hitch. Tosin, the last child of the family, he said, had indicated his desire, earlier, to be a clergyman in the Anglican Communion. As a father, he had approved his son’s choice and was only waiting for him to graduate so he could begin his priesthood training.
A security operative, he told The Sun Education that the first thing he did when he learnt about his son’s expulsion was to take him to the state directorate of Department of Security Service (DSS) to extract information from him in order to determine his culpability, “but all the results we got proved negative.”
He did not stop there he said. He took his son to two medical laboratories, one private, and the other public, to check if he had traces of narcotics in him. The results were also negative. Following his findings, he instructed a lawyer, one Mr. Olajide Onabanjo, to write a letter of appeal to the Governing Council of the university. The letter dated May 1, 2017, he said, was never acknowledged.
Mr. and Mrs. Segilola, parents of Olanrewaju, 300 level student of Business Administration, also expelled from the university, told The Sun Education that they also wrote a letter to the VC to complain about the manner in which their son was expelled without the school informing the parents about this development and neither setting up an investigative panel to properly confirm the allegations against the affected students.
“Ajayi Crowther is a Christian missionary school, and even if these allegations were true, we would expect the university authorities to put the students to caution, or rehabilitation, and to inform the parents about the situation before expelling them,” they argued in the letter. “I trust this is not the way you wish to manage the school business and activities nor the kind of letter you wish to receive from parents.”
When contacted on the matter, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dapo Asaju, said that he and any other person in the institution, is not in any position to discuss the issue, as according to him, it was a collective decision taken by the University Governing Council. He added that once a case has been decided by the Council “there is nothing that anybody can do about it.”
On the issue of the letter written by lawyers to the students, Prof Asaju said that the students and their parents/minders can go to court if they are dissatisfied with the judgement.
Chief Aiyemoniafe, known as Baba Ijo of St Paul Anglican Church, Araromi-Ekiti, his hometown, and some other parents said they have decided to do just that, to pursue the case to a logical conclusion.
“By my training, I am well informed enough to know that children can behave differently when they are outside their parents’ environment, and can also pretend to be good at home,” Aiyemoniafe admitted. “My fear as a psychologist is that if it is true that this boy is actually innocent of this crime and failed to find justice at this age, 18, most especially in a Christian-owned school and under a Lord Bishop, it may be very difficult to change his perception as to the trustworthiness of our system of justice administration. Part of the reason why it is difficult to curb crime in our society is the inability to get justice. This is why a criminal mindset is developed through trivial issues.”