JOE EFFIONG, UYO
Governor Udom Emmanuel has intervened into the controversial expulsion of a 500-level student of agric engineering of the Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden, who was expelled by the school authorities for allegedly insulting the governor on his facebook page.
The university’s senate had in its March, 2021 meeting, approved the report of the students’ disciplinary committee which had found the student, Iniobong Isang Ekpo, guilty of gross misconduct.
The student, through his lawyer, had written to the school threatening a legal action if within seven days, he was not reinstated and paid the sum of N20 million as special damages for the trauma he suffered by the action of the university.
The vice chancellor of the university, Prof Nse Essien, had however told Daily Sun that the school was ready to meet the student in court and exonerated Gov Emmanuel in the entire process leading to the expulsion of the student.
“It is not supposed to be like that. It is solely a university affair. It is very unfortunate; and he is trying to use that to see whether he can whip up sentiments. It is unfortunate. The governor has no hand at all.
“He has gone to court and we say fine. There is no need to talk too much since the case is already in court. There is no need to write too much. The court would determine whether we are right or we are wrong.” Essien told Daily Sun.
But in swift reaction on Wednesday, the governor hurriedly set up a five man committee headed by the state commissioner for education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, to look into the issue.
A press release signed by Etiebet herself said; “Following reports of the dismissal of a final year student of the Faculty of Engineering, Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU); Ekpo, Iniobong Isang, by the Senate of the institution for gross misconduct, His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has approved the constitution of a five man panel to review the remote and immediate cause of the action.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state emphatically that the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, was not aware of Iniobong’s expulsion, as such a matter had not previously been brought to his attention.
“In the meantime, Students of the state-owned institution are advised to be law abiding and go about their normal academic activities without any fear of intimidation.”