A student activist, Mr Olorunfemi Adeyeye, who was rusticated in 2016 by the University of Lagos for organising and leading a mass protest against poor infrastructure on campus, has now graduated after seven years.
Adeyeye, who was reinstated in 2022 and is now a graduate of the Department of Building, was suspended alongside some student activists for participating in the April 6 and 8, 2016 protests, which led to the shutdown of the school and the subsequent indefinite suspension of the University of Lagos Students Union.
Adeyeye was also accused of criticising the leadership of the institution for their inability to manage situations as “democrats” in a Facebook article titled: “The Senate of the University of Lagos; a conglomeration of academic ignorami.”
Sharing his sign-out pictures on his Facebook page on Monday, Adeyeye, shown standing at attention, wore a white shirt with the inscription, “It needed attention, and I gave it full. To continue the big things. Grateful.”
While under suspension, UNILAG authorities also accused Adeyeye of leading a team tagged: “Save UNILAG Coalition,” comprising individuals from the National Association of Nigerian Students, onto the school campus to disrupt the activities of the office of the Dean of Student Affairs on March 31, 2016.
The university had, in a statement, said Adeyeye and other student leaders were not victimised because of their involvement in the protests on campus but because they were found to have breached a part of the regulations in the university’s 2015-2016 student information handbook.
In a 2016 interview with The PUNCH, Adeyeye denied the allegation, revealing that he and other student leaders were invited to a panel by the university known as the “Special Senate Disciplinary Committee on Recent Students’ Protest,” wherein it was indicated that they were rusticated for their participation in a protest.
He further told The PUNCH that everything he wrote in the Facebook article cited by the university pointed to the fact that the resolution of the university Senate concerning his rustication was undemocratic.
“It was rather disheartening that the university came out to say that. It is an untrue statement. I and other student leaders were invited to a panel. The panel was known as, the ‘Special senate disciplinary committee on recent students’ protest.’
“Everything I wrote in the article I posted on my Facebook page pointed to the fact that the resolution of the Senate was not a product of a democratic process, especially with the student leaders who participated in the protest. From the day I was admitted into the university till the day I was rusticated, there was no regulation in the university’s student handbook that stated “unauthorised use of university name, logo, etc in a manner that would bring the university to disrepute,” Mr Adeyeye had said.