We therefore consider this action of the University unjustifiable, illegal, an abuse of office and a flagrant violation of the University rules and the principles of natural justice. We call on the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Anthony Elujoba, to direct that Ibukun’s e-portal page be opened and halt any further plan to victimize him. Not doing this in our opinion would mean that the Prof. Elujoba-led administration, rather than the breath of fresh air it claims to be, is merely a continuation of the despotic past.
Omole Ibukun, a part five undergraduate student of the Department of Civil Engineering, is the secretary of the OAU branch of the ERC and a member of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM). For more than 3 years, Ibukun has been an active voice on the campus against anti-poor education policies and attack on students and workers democratic rights. He is particularly being victimized for his leading role in the campaign for the probe of the immediate past tyrannical Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Bamitale Omole who was involved in multiple cases of mismanagement of fund as well as attack on democratic rights. Ibukun also played a prominent role in the struggles of the staff unions which forced the Federal Government to dissolve the corrupt Governing Council and terminate the appointment of Bamitale Omole’s protégé, Prof. Ayobami Salami, as Vice Chancellor and his subsequent replacement by Prof. Elujoba in acting capacity.
This despotic act which was implemented in February 2016 by the immediate-past Prof. Bamitale Omole University administration is currently being upheld by the Prof. Anthony Elujoba administration in a manner that does not portray any striking difference from the structure that was ousted by the struggles of non-academic staff and students recently, for the new administrators to take power.
While the e-portal access page of a student remains necessary for registering for new sessions, checking of results of past examinations, amongst other uses, the e-portal access page of Ibukun Omole remains inaccessible and keeps stating that he has committed an offence. Meanwhile, the university rules demand that anyone who is alleged to have committed an offence will be required to reply to a query first, and if the reply is insufficient, such students are invited to appear before an investigative panel before any letter of suspension or other disciplinary actions can be issued. Yet, the Obafemi Awolowo University administration disobeyed this law, as this student (Omole Ibukun) was not invited to any investigative panel for the sake of fair-hearing neither was any letter of suspension or any other form of disciplinary action issued to him.
Instead, Omole Ibukun was queried on 24 February 2016 on account of posts the University alleged he wrote on his facebook wall which, according to the query letter, “were understood to mean that the distinguished members of the Senate of the University are men and women of little reason and are not deserving of any respect”, and that these purported posts are “misconduct contrary to... the Code of Conduct of the University Community”. Omole Ibukun in his prompt response to this query denied authorship of the alleged posts since within the period the said posts allegedly appeared on his facebook wall, he had lost access to his facebook account in a manner suspicious of the handiwork of hackers and he had subsequently warned friends on his contact list not to respond to any solicitous messages from the said account. Since February 25, 2016 when he submitted his response, he has not heard anything officially from the authorities. He was not subsequently invited to an investigative or disciplinary panel as would be the case, in accordance with University rules, if his response to the query was found insufficient. All he realized was that subsequently he lost access to his e-portal page, something which he initially attributed to a technical glitch.
The current effect of this act on the student is demonstrated by his inability to register for the last academic session in the school, and to access and view the results of the previous academic session.
The ERC considers the continuous deactivation of Ibukun Omole’s e-portal page which is tantamount to deprivation of his studentship status as an attempt to keep him at the mercy of the management for the rest of his stay on campus so that he would not be able to continue to challenge the University’s anti-poor education policies. We hereby call on students and workers of the University to oppose this victimization of Omole Ibukun and start to lawfully and politically pressurize the university management to amend its ways.
Hassan Taiwo Soweto Michael Ogundele
National Coordinator (07033697259) National Secretary