The University of Abuja has formally recalled the rustication letters that were sent to two of its students for allegedly stirring up trouble among their peers over a recent increase in tuition fees by the school’s administration.
Cyprian Igwe and Olalekan Oladeru, two students, were charged by the university with spreading a WhatsApp group message inviting other students to a meeting about the fee increase.
In April 2023, Igwe and Mr. Oladeru, both members of the Students’ Union Government, finished their final-year second-semester exams. They are now awaiting their results in order to continue with the National Youth Service Corps program, which is required.
A document obtained, it revealed that the school recently increased the tuition fees by about 50 per cent for the new session.
Following the hike, Igwe who is the SUG’s Director of Socials, in a WhatsApp message sighted by Punch, reportedly said, “Good evening house. We will be having a meeting tomorrow by 6:00 pm in regards to school fees, let’s know our way forward.
Subsequently, the university, in a “rustication letter” sighted, dated May 26, 2023, and signed by the deputy registrar (academic) on behalf of the registrar, accused both Igwe and Oladeru, of circulating an “inciteful press release” capable of “jeopardising the peaceful and smooth conduct of academic activities in the university and a breach of the University Matriculation Oath”.
“By the powers conferred on the Vice Chancellor as contained in the University of Abuja Act, he on behalf of the Senate has directed your immediate rustication from the University. Accordingly, you are banned from all University Campuses pending the determination of the case,” the letter added.
However, in a fresh development, one of the affected students, Oladeru, who spoke to the Punch on Sunday noted that the rustication letter had been recalled.
“The school wants us to return the letter that it was a mistake. It was supposed to be suspended, but after all the damages have been done, they’re now realising their mistakes. The school did injustice and should face the law.”
According to Punch, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Dr Habib Yakoob had earlier said that the students were suspended contrary to the widely circulated letters and media reports.