Arrested 13 UNILAG Students Finally Released


Thirteen students of the University of Lagos who were remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison by a Special Offences Mobile Court on Saturday have been released.

The students, who were slapped with  two counts  of unlawful invasion and disruption of activities on  the premises of Television Continental in Lagos, were released after a hearing on their bail application on Thursday.

As early as 8am on Thursday, student  protesters had besieged the Lagos State Task Force building in Oshodi, seeking the release of the students.

Bearing different placards such as, ‘Why are corrupt politicians free while students are behind bars’, ‘Drop all charges, release them now’ and ‘For improved welfare conditions for students’, the protesters chanted solidarity songs.

Speaking after they were released, the Vice-President of the  Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani,  said the court lacked jurisdiction on the matter, adding that the court could only intervene in matters relating to environmental and traffic offences.

Also speaking, the Secretary, Save UNILAG Coalition, Mr. Juwon Sanyaolu,  demanded  the students who were rusticated should be reinstated.

Sanyaolu said  a demand for improved supply of water and electricity should not have degenerated into rusticating the students.

One of the released students, Mr. Aina Oluwatomi, criticised the management of the UNILAG for being intolerant to pressure groups on campus

He said, “UNILAG has become a place where we only have obligation and no rights. If you are seen as a dissident at  UNILAG, you will earn at least two semesters of rustication. The university management has become intolerant of critical views and right to freedom of expression and association.’’

UNILAG   authorities   said  on Tuesday  the 13 youths were not their  students, according to statement  by the Deputy Registrar, Information Unit, Mr. Toyin Adebule.

The statement read,  “University of Lagos, hereby states that the 13 students remanded by the court as reported by different newspaper and electronic publications to be UNILAG students are not students of the institution. These ‘students’ comprise  rusticated students and some students from an institution in Ogun State.

“Let us emphasise here that the rusticated students are requested to apply for re-admission after serving their punishment. Until re-absorption, they are not considered bona fide students of the university.’’

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