A final-year student of the Akwa Ibom State University, Ekpo Iniobong Isang, has taken the university to court over his unfair suspension and expulsion for criticising Governor Emmanuel Udom.
The 500-level student of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, through his lawyers, has sent a pre-action notice to the Vice-Chancellor, dated June 18.
Isang with Matriculation Number, AK15/ENG/AEE/013, was expelled on April 9, 2021, in a letter signed by John Udo, the Registrar and the Secretary to the Senate, titled, “Expulsion for Gross Misconduct.”
“At its 69th meeting held on Wednesday, March 31, the Senate of the university deliberated on the report from the Students Disciplinary Committee. You will recall that you had appeared before the said committee on a case of publication of derogatory and defamatory article on Facebook platform about the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Visitor to the university.
“This act constitutes a breach of the Matriculation Oath and violation of the university rules and regulations enshrined in the student information handbook. You are hereby expelled from the university for this act of gross misconduct which constitutes a breach of the Matriculation Oath,” the Registrar said in the letter.
In the pre-action letter by his lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, Isang is asking for “the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of our client” among other demands.
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The lawyer said, “At no time did the Akwa Ibom University invite or summon our client to appear before the university’s Students Disciplinary Committee prior to his indefinite suspension. Our client was not shown, confronted or availed with the purported abusive post.
“It is apparent that the university acted in contravention of Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
“Despite repeated entreaties by our client to be given a fair hearing, the university failed or refused to address his grievances and unfair treatment. Our client was not given a reasonable and air opportunity to defend himself before he was expelled.
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“Consequently. We hereby demand the following; one, immediate and unconditional reinstatement of our client, two; restoration of all studentship rights accruable to all students of the university.
“Three, a special opportunity and waiver for our client to write all the the tests and examinations which he registered and paid for but was prevented from writing.
“Four, the payment of the sum of N20 million to our client representing damages for the gross breach of our client’s fundamental human rights and the resultant depression he has suffered.
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“Please take note that we have the firm instruction of our client to commence legal proceedings against the university if the above demands are not met within seven days of the receipt of this letter.”