Senate directs immediate reinstatement of expelled UniAbuja student

THE Nigerian Senate has directed the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, to reinstate Cyprian Chukwuemeka Igwe as a bona fide student of the University.

The directive came after weeks of investigation by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Code of Conduct and Public Petitions.

The Senate, during the plenary session on Wednesday, March 6, also directed the University to restore his access to the school’s student portal and recommend him for mobilisation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

Igwe had last year, November 3, 2023, sent an apology letter to the school.

This resolution stemmed from the approval of a report submitted by the committee, chaired by the Edo South Senator Neda Imasuen.

The ICIR reported that Igwe was expelled from UniAbuja last semester for urging colleagues to dialogue on the school’s hike of its fees.


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Igwe, the Students Union Government’s (SUG) former Director of Socials, alongside Oladeru Samson, the SUG former Director of Sports, were also accused of spearheading a movement that could jeopardise the university’s peaceful and smooth conduct of academic activities. 

They were subsequently “banned from all the university campuses pending the determination of the case” for allegedly calling for a protest. The student has since denied the claim. 

The decision to expel the students sparked widespread reactions on social media, with many questioning the fairness of the university’s management.

Consequently, the duo petitioned the Senate, asking it to intervene and prevail on the university authority to reinstate them.

Igwe petitioned through Senators Victor Umeh representing Anambra Central and Samson through Fadahunsi Adenigba the senator representing Osun East. 

Meanwhile, in response to mounting pressure from Nigerians and the petition by Igwe, the Senate launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his expulsion by summoning the aggrieved student in a letter dated October 26, 2023.

The ICIR would later gather that the committee did not summon Samson as his petition to the senate was not followed up by the senator representing his constituency, Adenigba.

Presenting the report on Wednesday, Imasuen noted that during its investigations,  Igwe had claimed that he was wrongfully accused of circulating false info and press release against the University.

“On the 26th May 2023, he was arrested and detained by the head of the intelligence unit on the instruction of the University authorities for 9 hours with his phone confiscated.






     

     

    “He was not only issued with a rustication letter by the University Authority on May 26, 2023 but was also barred from accessing the University of Abuja students portal, and that will affect his graduation and mobilisation in the 2023 NYSC programme currently ongoing, thereby leaving him behind his classmates,” he read.

    He stated that the University requested an apology from Igwe, which he has already submitted, as a prerequisite for his reinstatement and recommendation for the NYSC.

    While acknowledging the Senate Committee on Ethics report, the Senate president, Godswill Akpbio, therefore, directed the university vice-chancellor to reinstate the Igwe.

    He also directed the House Committee on Compliance to ensure that the resolutions of the Senate are complied with.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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