Four years after, the authorities at the Madonna University, Nigeria have finally opened up on the reasons why two of its former students, Messrs Stanley Okoye and Ga-Lim Aondofa Lord, dragged the university to Federal High Court, Enugu division.
Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Chuks Emmanuel Ezedum, who disclosed this during a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, said the former students were expelled for examination malpractices, drug abuse and distribution, including academic failure.
According to Ezedum, these subsequently led to their rustication, suspension and loss of an academic year.
While shedding more light on the reasons for their expulsion, Ezedum said: “At several times, in the past, they had been found culpable of vices such as examination malpractices, drug abuse and distribution including academic failures which led to rustication, suspension, and loss of an academic year.”
Ezedum also said the security department of the institution had received reports that the duo were leaders of secret cults and when the matter was referred to the disciplinary committee, Okoye and Lord resorted to threatening the officers.
He further stated that “the recalcitrant tendencies of these students were of grave concern to the school authorities, particularly in the light of the institution’s responsibility to safeguard lives of both staff and students.”
Prof Ezedum said although, the case at the Federal High Court was decided in favour of the university, the students had filed a petition to the Human Rights Commission which acknowledged the competence of the court to handle the case and excused itself from the case.
The Vice chancellor, however, wondered why the House Representatives Committee on Public Petitions would entertain “a misleading petition” brought before it by the former two students after losing their case on the enforcement of human rights in the High Court.”
The university don insisted that the Reps House Committee on Public Petitions should have waited for the outcome of a pending suit in an Enugu court filed by the two former students against some officers of the university.
The university don said with the insistence of the Reps Committee to hear the case, he suspected what he called ‘moral compromise’ on the part of the committee.
The Vice chancellor alleged that the chairman of the committee had said that he did not care whether the matter was in hundred courts and boasted that his committee superseded the jurisdiction of any court.
He also claimed that letters invitation to the University to attend the sittings of the committee usually came two weeks later after the committee sitting, pointing out that it could be a measure for the c university authorities not to answer to the petition.
“When I talk of compromise, I am not talking in terms of material compromise, I am talking in terms of moral compromise because I have no evidence of any material compromise.
“But I can see moral compromise. A situation where a matter is being challenged in the courts and you are substantially aware of that, you boasted to the other party that you don’t care whether it is in hundred courts, that your committee supersedes the jurisdiction of any court in Nigeria. It doesn’t make sense,” the Vice Chancellor said.
When contacted, House of Representatives Committee chairman on public Complaint and Petition, Hon Nkem Abonta said “the Madonna University vice Chancellor can say whatever he wants to say, the committee is doing it’s work.”Earlier Abonta said he was not going to talk on the issue as the matter is been heard by the committee.