THE University of Ilorin Students’ Union, has called on the university authority to suspend a lecturer from office for allegedly assaulting the president of the union, Shobowale Lukman.
The call was made in response to the alleged assault of the union president by a lecturer of the university and Sub-Dean of its Faculty of Engineering, T.K Abioye, at the institution’s Computer-Based Test, CBT, centre on Monday.
Trouble started on Monday when Mr. Abioye, a lecturer in the department of Mechanical Engineering, allegedly slapped Mr. Shobowale during a CBT exam.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Mr. Shobowale had gone to the centre to assist in the co-ordination of the examination process, due to certain logistic issues that had hampered the smooth conduct of the examination at the centre on Thursday, March 2.
While speaking with PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday evening, Mr. Shobowale disclosed that he had made moves to intervene on behalf of some students from the university’s Teaching Hospital, Oke-Oyi, who could not write their examinations after being at the centre for hours.
He explained that on approaching the lecturers in charge of the centre, he was directed to the secretary of the centre, one Mr. Tomori, who was having a discussion with one Mr. Abdulrahaman and the said Mr. Ajiboye.
“I stood by the side at an appropriate distance,” Mr. Shobowale said, adding that after a while, he indicated his intention to speak with Mr. Tomori, but was greeted with harsh response.
The officials demanded to know whom he was, Mr. Shobowale said, and he identified himself as the students’ union president. He was, however, asked to move away from the officials.
Mr. Shobowale explained further that after moving away without getting any response from them, he moved closer and explained to them again that he would like to speak with the officials, after which he then moved away from them again.
He, however, said that while discussing with other members of the union afterwards, Mr. Ajiboye approached him, sought to know what they were discussing, then slapped him on the face and proceeded to seize his student’s identity card.
The incident drew the ire of the students present at the centre, who threatened to go on the rampage. They were, however, implored to exercise patience by the union leaders.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the spokesperson of the university, Kunle Akogun, he confirmed the incident and explained that the university has set up a committee to look into it.
“The Vice chancellor has set up a committee to look into the matter and we are awaiting the report of the committee,” Mr. Akogun said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon.
He, however, noted that the university frowns at such development but it would still want to take action based on thorough investigations.
“Definitely, the university frowns at such but we await the report of the committee. The result will be communicated once it is concluded,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
Efforts to speak with Mr. Ajiboye, however, proved abortive as he was not reachable via his telephone line.
Meanwhile, according to a statement released by the students’ union leadership, which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, the union has called on the university authorities to relieve the lecturer of his position as sub-dean of the Faculty of Engineering.
The statement was signed by Omotosho Damilare, the union’s Public Relations Officer, and Mr. Shobowale.
“We stand in solidarity with our president and make the following demands,” the statement reads in part.
“Dr. Ajiboye be relieved of his duties 24 hours from the submission of our official report; Dr. Ajiboye must make a public apology to the president, Com. Shobowale Lukman within 24 hours of this release; He must also apologise to the entire students of the University of Ilorin whose sensibilities have been offended,” the unionists said.
“(Dr.) Ajiboye must be declared a persona non grata at any examination venue until further notice; he must be relieved of his duties as Sub-dean of the Faculty of Engineering.”