University of Lagos, who was rusticated for his post on Facebook,
Olorunfemi Adeyeye, talks about some issues raised by the authorities of
the varsity in a statement and his recent arrest on the premises of the
university with GBENGA ADENIJI
of proportion. I and three of my friends were discussing and moving
towards the school. At the small exit gate of the university’s main
gate, I was exchanging a contact with one of them from my phone. We were
moving at a slow pace and one of the security officers told us not to
loiter in an unruly manner. I nodded at him to show my acceptance of his
order and also pleaded with him to be patient with us as we were almost
through with the contact exchange.
launching into a verbal attack. He called my friend unprintable names.
They started exchanging words. The officer manhandled him and this left
my friend with a scratch on his body. It later resulted into a heated
argument and noticing the gathering of students to the scene, I and my
other two friends advised that we should move to the security unit to
resolve the matter amicably.
unit and we all went there with another officer. When we got to the
unit, we were told to make a statement which we did and we learnt that
the university’s chief security officer had been informed of the
officers kept making some comments directed at me. One of them pointed
at me saying, ‘‘Were you not the one who insulted the vice-chancellor?
The VC has caught you.”
waiting to be attended to but nothing happened. We started making
contacts to reach the CSO to resolve the matter. We did not hear from
him and we were not released. We slept at the security unit. At about
5.45am, some policemen from Sabo Police Station came to take us to the
station. Our shirts were tied to each other in twos. At the station, we
made a statement and we were interrogated by a police officer. He
insinuated that we should give a statement that we were cult members,
planning to attack the school.
statement. After that, my friends were given their phones but I was
not given mine. They called mine an exhibit because I took the picture
of the officer manhandling my friend with it. I took the picture to have
a pictorial evidence of what happened and not for any other reason as
the police officer alleged.
student leaders later arrived at the police station. At that point, we
were taken to the office of the Divisional Police Officer where the
matter was resolved after the intervention of the CSO.
statement said you and other rusticated student leaders were not
victimised because of your involvement in a protest on campus. It stated
that you were found to have breached a part of the regulations in the
university’s 2015-2016 student information handbook. What is your
reaction to this?
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,
‘Special senate disciplinary committee on recent students’ protest.’
indicated that we were rusticated for our participation in the 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. As of 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
after I was rusticated with a student who claimed that only three of
them were issued the book in a class of 78 students.
verdict. It was premeditated and retroactive because I went to the panel
with the latest handbook i.e for the 2014/2015 academic session and
there was nothing of such in it.
not have the ‘emergency’ handbook. I can say convincingly that the
handbook was ‘prepared’ to nail me. It is laughable because the
university cannot attach that sub-section in clear legal terms in its
allegations against me.
university’s submission that you abused the vice-chancellor yet expect
to receive the university certificate?
is a place for engagement of intellectual minds. It should be a breeding
ground for managers; people who will be able to manage issues with all
sincerity. A Nigerian graduate should be a leader who has undergone a
certifiable training and must be open to criticisms and scrutiny. I have
noted in one of my articles that if certificates amounted to
civilisation and development, Nigeria would be the best place to be.
master’s degrees and two PhDs. I know someone who enrolled for a
master’s programme because of a N10,000 increase in his salary. We are
too conscious of certificates and this has brought little or no
development to the country. It is high time we became educated and not
name in my article on my Facebook page, I did two things. First, I awoke
him to his responsibilities in the nation as a scholar. This is the
same with other personalities I mentioned in the article.
managerial failure I noticed in the system. The language I employed
might be harsh which I had apologised repeatedly, yet I maintained that
the thoughts in the article were my opinions about the university’s
Senate and should not be censored. I wonder why university
administrators cannot tolerate a newly-reinstated students’ union that
was proscribed for 10 years.
‘boys’ are serving corps members. It was so stated in the statement by
the university. I do not think any corps members would leave their
states of deployment to come and cause chaos at the gate of a
against us. We were the ones who asked the security men to move to the
security unit to resolve the issue instead of creating a scene at the
gate. I did not organise any group of boys. It is part of the
desperation to nail me.
claim by the UNILAG authorities that you were arrested on campus because
of your desperation to attract cheap publicity, earn public sympathy
and continuously bring the name of the university into disrepute?
a sensible and civilised democrat though they censored mine. Popularity
or sympathy does not define a man. A man is defined by his level of
We were called cult members — Aina
years. I think I was in part three at the time we met. He was in part
one at the time. We were roommates in –Room 107, Biobaku Hall,
University of Lagos.
you were part of ‘a group of boys’ mobilised to cause commotion in the
school. What is your view about this?
When I read the statement issued by the university, I was disappointed. I
was not part of any group of boys hired to foment trouble. As a matter
of fact, I was on campus that day to check the list of Batch ‘B’
National Youth Service Corps members. After checking it, I called Femi
who said he was on campus and we arranged to meet. We met around the
school gate and joined by two other friends. As we were leaving the
school, Femi was exchanging a phone contact with one of us.
officer approached us and told us to walk fast. Femi, though engrossed
with the person he was exchanging contact with, nodded to the security
officer to affirm that they would do as directed. He thought they were
proving reluctant and in the process, he applied force. We later said we
should move to the security unit to settle the matter as some students
were already gathering.
resolve the matter amicably. But it was unfortunate that when we got
there, rather than settling it, one of the security officers looked at
Adeyeye and said, “You insulted the vice-chancellor, now the VC has
caught you.” We were called various names ranging from cult members to
troublemakers. We were detained overnight and later taken to Sabo Police
Station. The whole thing appeared premeditated in a way.
police also collected Adeyeye’s phone to delete the photos he took
showing how the security officer manhandled one of us. We were made to
give an undertaking that we would not write any malicious article or
leak the photos into public domain. I see that as an infringement on our