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Popular human rights activist lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN has said he will be the legal representative of Ifemosu Adewale in court, a student of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, who was expelled over a post on Facebook.
Falana stated this while speaking as a chairman at the Colloquium on the Shrinking Media and Civic Space in Nigeria in Lagos, on Thursday.
Adewale had on July 12 posted an open letter on his Facebook page calling the attention of the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, to some pertinent issues like the incessant robbery of students’ hostels, indiscriminate arrest, and the lack of adequate transportation system on the school’s main campus.
FUNAAB’s management was said to be annoyed by the letter and expelled Adewale, claiming that he had breached the school’s moral code.
Falana while speaking at the event said he had spoken with Adewale and the case would be taken to court.
According to him,
“A young man just met me now that he wants to take his school to court.
“He wrote an article on armed robbery case in FUNAAB and the school authority felt offended and rusticated him.
“I have asked him to see me next Tuesday. We will take up the case and we will go to court.”
Adewale who is a 200 level student of forestry and wildlife management department of FUNAAB however, said his intention was to bring an end to the security challenges and lingering transportation issues that students were facing and not to disrespect the institution in his letter.
Speaking with PM News, Adewale said he highlighted the problems that students were facing and also listed the possible solutions but all he got in return was an expulsion letter.
“I got a call from the Chief Security Officer of the same day I posted the letter on my facebook, that was Friday and when I got to his office on Monday I was told to write a statement on why I wrote an open letter.
“I was later invited by the Dean of Student Affairs and when I got there, they gave me a letter and in that letter, I was told to respond in writing why they should not charge me with gross misconduct and in my response I wrote that I did not have any intention to tarnish the school’s image. This is my school, the school I represent, all I was asking for is the transportation system to work, this is what affects all students.
“I responded and they still wrote me back to answer why they should not charge me with gross misconduct within 24 hours, and by that time, I was busy preparing for my wedding and could not settle down to write them but I went to meet the Dean of Student Affairs and others to beg them.
“Everything was going normal and I started going to my class until August 28 and I was invited to face the SDC panel the following day, I reside in Kwara State and I rushed down to Abeokuta and I got there I was told to substantiate what I wrote and did.
“I explained myself but they said no, they were just passionate about the fact that I abused them, I insulted them. They finally asked what I want them to do for me and I appealed to them to work on that highlighted problems in my letter”, he narrated.
Adewale said after the meeting, he was not contacted until November when he was given his letter of expulsion by one of his lecturers.
“I seized to be a student on November 1st, but October 18th was on the expulsion letter. You should be there to see my mood, everything changed.”
He, however, said now that the news was everywhere and concerned Nigerians are coming to his aide, he’s optimistic that he will get justice.