The National Association of Nigerian Students has urged the Federal University, Lokoja, to revisit expulsion of 13 students over alleged examination malpractice in the institution.
NANS Public Relations Officer, Comrade Bestman Okereafor, said in a statement on Monday in Enugu that the expulsion was not founded on clear investigation and concrete evidence.
Okereafor said: “The victims have claimed to be innocent and pleaded not guilty to the allegations, especially the final year student who maintained that she had never been involved in examination malpractice.
“NANS is giving Federal University of Lokoja a 72-hour ultimatum, to as a matter of urgency revisit the said case, and prove to the world beyond reasonable doubts if the students are guilty.”
According to him, we consider the management’s decision as an intentional act of victimizing our beloved compatriots and this will be completely resisted as NANS will not hesitate to occupy the campus in demand for justice and fairness.
Okereafor, however, said that the `Save Our Soul’ letter of the final year student, Lydia Lawal, of the Economics Department should be looked into.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Angela Freeman-Miri, in a statement in Lokoja said that the expulsion of the students followed the institution’s laid down due process.
Freeman-Miri said that they were given the opportunity to defend the allegations against them before the decision to expel them was taken.
She said: “They were made to face the students’ disciplinary committee and the examination misconduct committee sat at different times to look into the allegations against them.
“The reports of the two committees were later sent to the 47th senate meeting of the university which eventually approved their dismissal.”
On the allegation of unfair treatment and decision levied against the university by Miss Lawal, one of the affected students, the Vice Chancellor stated that she and her colleagues were free to appeal the decision of the senate in writing to the governing council of the university.