Students at the University of Lagos, Akoka have given the authorities of the institution two days to rescind on their decision disbanding the Students’ Union Government or face legal action. Their counsel, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said in a statement on Wednesday that he had on behalf of the students written the authorities of UNILAG seeking an immediate reversal of the decision to scrap the Students’ Union Government in the institution.
The students, according to the lawyer, also want the institution’s authorities to reverse the decision requiring all students to subscribe to an oath of non-membership of secret cults and for their parents to indemnify them, as pre-conditions to the re-opening of the school. Authorities of UNILAG had reportedly announced the closure of the school and forced the students out of the campus following what the students claimed to be a “peaceful assembly of the students to draw attention to the deplorable state of infrastructure and facilities in the university, leading to permanent blackouts and lack of water supply.”
But in their pre-litigation letter dated April 27, 2016 and addressed to the varsity’s vice-chancellor, the students, through Adegboruwa, argued that it would be unlawful for the university to impose the proposed conditions on them when they had neither been rusticated nor expelled from the institution. Adegboruwa also described the scrapping of the Students’ Union as a violation of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which he said entitled the students to freedom of association and the right to “elect their leaders and to maintain a union, without any interference from the University.”
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Besides, the students are also demanding representation in the governing council and the Senate of the university, saying they needed an opportunity “of being part of the decision making process, which may affect them, their parents, their future and their careers.” Adegboruwa contended that the students having paid their examination and accommodation levies, it would be unjust for the authorities of the university to prevent them from sitting for their exams or ejecting them from the residential halls.
The students are also demanding one month shift in their examinations date to allow them settle down in view of the disruption of academic activities occassioned by the closure of the school. Failure of the university authorities to address their concerns, the students, Adegboruwa said, in the statement, they would resort to legal action.
The statement read in part, “First, the students were not rusticated or expelled to warrant any oath for re-admission. “Second, it is illegal to ask innocent students and their parents to subscribe to an oath not to commit a crime. Cultism is a serious crime in all statutes regulating crime and criminality. “Third, the students have already paid for their accommodation in their various halls of residence and they are thus entitled to the use and occupation of these halls for the current academic session. They have also paid for their examinations and they are entitled to partake in the said examinations without any precondition.
“The students stated that by virtue of section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, they are entitled to freedom of association, to elect their leaders and to maintain a union, without any interference from the university. “Furthermore, the students maintain that they cannot be punished for the unilateral act of closure by the university, over deteriorating conditions in their campuses that are not conducive for learning and intellectual exercise.”
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