OAU Students Laments Harassment, Missed Opportunities Due To Denial Of IDs

By Abiodun Komolafe

Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, have expressed their displeasure over non issuance of Identity Cards to any of them for 2016/2017 session.

OSUN DEFENDER campus reporter gathered that both fresh and returning students of the institution were not issued ID cards after they had reportedly paid a mandatory fee of N500 each as part of the miscellaneous charges by the school yearly which allegedly sum up to N17.5 million for about 35,000 students of the school.

Some students told our reporter that they have always had the issue of delay in release of identity cards until last session that they were denied means of identification totally by the school which according to them, has caused them more harm than good as they face harassment by security personnel and miss several educational opportunities that require their ID cards.

“When some of us were given part time job to do as students, we pleaded with them that it was our school which delayed the issuance of our ID cards. It is however pathetic that we become liars when the institution fails to issue us any. It is nothing but fraud”, Toheeeba Adigun, a student of Dramatic Arts said.

Eniola Olaniyan, a 300 level student explained to OSUN DEFENDER that the irregularities of the management exposed the students to assault within and outside the school, saying, “The institution charges N500 each from over 35,000 students which amounts to over N17.5 million, yet we are exposed to assault even by members of the school security personnel.

“Imagine the likes of Abiola Booster and Baba Ibeji who are the institution security personnel asking students means of Identity card when they refuse to produce any. I was delayed and embarrassed”, he said.

While narrating his ordeal, Lekan Adedoyin said he was detained at Moore Police station for two day due to inability to provide means of identification.

The spokesperson of the institution, Abiodun Olanrewaju, however ascribed the failure of the University to issue ID Cards to the students throughout the session to logistics problem.

“Identity cards were not given to our students for 2016/2017 academic session due to some logistics problem. First and foremost, the university management never collected a dime from anybody for ID card, so let us get that clear. The idea of ‘they collected money from us and they didn’t give us ID card’ is exceptionally propaganda.

“Secondly, we had some logistics with icons and we don’t want to commit any error because OAU is a brand on its own.

“Actually, the issuance of ID card for this session and for the last session are in top gear.”

JAC Strike: OAU NASU Chairman Docked Over Assault Allegations

By Sodiq Lawal

The Chairman of Non-Academic staffs of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Comrade Woke Odewunmi was on Thursday arraigned in an Osun State Magistrate Court sitting in Ile Ife over alleged assault of Olarinde Olaide after being remanded on the 6th of March at Kosere Prisons in the town.

Olarinde Olaide was allegedly mobbed and assaulted by the union workers ‘led by Wole Odewumi for disrupting the examinations of the Post-graduate Students in the university during one the protests of the Non Teaching staff unions against the Earned allowance owed by the Federal Government.

After listening to both parties through their counsels, Justice F.I Omisade, the presiding Judge, granted the accused (OAU NASU Chairman) bail on self-recognizance.

The presiding Judge further stated that the condition of the bail includes providing two sureties, who are civil servants and have attained at least Level Ten according to the civil service commission ranking.

However, the judge during the proceedings, expressed his disappointment at the two parties and noted that a civil matter of that nature should have been settled in the university community and not dragged to court.

“It should not have degenerated up to this level”, the Judge added.

Speaking with our correspondent, the defense counsel of the accused, Barrister S.T.A Raji, expressed his happiness, he said ” this is just one of those normal court cases. We have been successful with the bail application.”

Also, a female senior lecturer in the university, Kehinde Ajila, told our correspondent that the court case is being fueled by some of the university officers and it is aimed at frustrating the struggle of the aggrieved unions.

“Those professors, who we fought for the increment in their salaries are now those who want to frustrate the struggle for the payment of workers’ allowance.”- she added.

However, all efforts to speak with the complainer, Olarinde Olaide, proved abortive as the lawyer denied our correspondent access to his client.

It will be recalled that the non teaching staff unions of Universities, comprising the Non Teaching Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have embarked on an indefinite strike action since last year against the Federal Government over an alleged disparity in the disbursement of Earned allowance to all the staff unions in Nigerian Universities with 89& allocated to ASUU and 11% allocated to the three above Unions.

The case has however been adjourned to 15th of March, 2018.

OAU Suspends Convocation Amidst ‘Workers Strike’

The authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have postponed the 43rd convocation of the university earlier scheduled for December 13 to 16, 2017.

This was contained in a release on Wedneaday by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, who stated that the postponment was unavoidable.

He said, “Due to unforseen development occasioned by the ongoing national strike action of the non-teaching staff unions of universities, it has become imperative for the authorities of the OAU to postpone our 43rd convocation.

“The non-definite date for the suspension of the strike action has made the suspension of the 43rd convocation of the university an unavoidable alternative.

“University management regrets any inconveniences that the postponement might have caused the general public, most especially our invited guests, the graduating students, their parents and guardians, friends and well wishers, the alumni, lovers of Great Ife and all other stakeholders.”

It will be recalled that the non-teaching staff unions of universities, comprising the Non Teaching Staff Union, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University and National Association of Academic Technologists have embarked on an indefinite strike action against the Federal Government over an alleged disparity in the disbursement of Earned Allowance to all the staff unions in Nigerian universities.

Earlier, the withdrawal of services of the members of these unions had compelled the management of the OAU to ask its students to proceed on “End of the Year” break.

OAU Suspended Student Activists Threaten Legal Action

Students Activists recently suspended by the authority of Obafemi Awolowo University over what it termed criminal activities might result to legal action, as they threatened to drag the university to court if it failed to reinstate them unconditionally. Counsel to the students, Abiona Saheed, a Human Right lawyer from Alfred Adegoke Chambers in a letter directed to the university management demanded immediate reinstatement of the suspended students.

 

The letter dated 25th of October and made available to our reporter, argued that the suspension of the students amount to “flagrant violation of their fundamental rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

The letter also asserted that suspended Omole Ibukun, a final year student of department of Civil Engineering was not on campus as claimed by the management on the day of the alleged protest adding that he was in Osogbo for a private family engagement.

 

The letter also warned the university to reinstate the students or face court action.

 

“Take notice that in the event of your failure to accede to the provision of our demands, our client shall have no other option than to take all available democratic and legal actions to enforce his constitutionally entrenched right”.

 

Meanwhile, the university Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju in his response said the law firm cannot compel the university to undo what have been done.

 

It would be recall that OAU management suspended four students, Omole Ibukun, John Udeh, Babatunde Oluwalade and Jacob Grace for protesting against blackout on campus, which the institution tagged criminal activities pending police investigation.

OAU SU Demands Reinstatement Of Suspended Students

By Adejumo Kabir

The Students Union of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, has demanded an end to the era of victimisation of student activists on campus on account of expression of their grievances and dissatisfaction over the current situation on campus.

The union made the demand at a press conference in Osogbo, where it called for the unconditional reinstatement of the recently suspended students.
The Students are Omole Ibukun Ayodele, of the Department of Civil Engineering; Jacob Tosin, Faculty of Law; Udeh John, Department of Arts and Social Sciences and Oluwalade Babatunde, Department of English.

Oyekan Ibukun, the President of the Students Union said the suspended students did not commit any criminal offence as alleged by the school management, saying, the vandalisation claims by the school management were not true.

He said, “The leadership of Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union and the entire students of the university hereby use this medium to vehemently condemn the illegal and unjustifiable suspension of four undergraduate and two postgraduate students of the OAU by the management.

”We use this medium to debunk lies and subterfuges that have been made against our members. It must be clearly asserted at this point in time that students only embarked on a peaceful protest and what followed was their indefinite suspension from the University.

“On the foregoing, the Union hereby demands the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of both undergraduate and postgraduate students that were suspended by the Management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

“We demand an end to era of victimisation of student activists on campus on account of expression of their grievances and dissatisfaction over the current state of campus”
The union also demanded that the university management should call the leadership of Postgraduate students as well as students’ union to a roundtable discussion which must lead to the quick, immediate and unconditional reinstatement of students on suspension and resolve other issues.

However, the University management through a press release signed by the University Registrar, Dotun Awoyemi stated that the students were suspended for criminal activities, breach of the code of conduct of the university community and violation of their matriculation oath. The release further stated that the students suspended were not first offenders.

The university management stated that the suspension was necessary as they had no option than to take decisive action to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.
Dotun Awoyemi concluded the release by advising law-abiding students to concentrate on their studies and shun any act or utterance capable of elongating the academic calendar beyond the stipulated period.

The Vice President of the Union, Tosin Jacob, who had earlier been suspended alongside the Director of Socials, Adedayo Afolabi has issued another letter, warning her to vacate the institution and not to join any protest again, except she wants to be fully rusticated.

 

OAU: Awo Hall Executive Renders Stewardship

By Kabir Adejumo

The Executive Council of Awolowo Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has rendered its account of stewardship to residents of the hall as harmattan semester runs out.

This was contained in a statement obtained by OSUN DEFENDER Campus Review signed by the hall chairman and hall secretary, Samuel Olayemi and Olakanmi Abdullahi respectively, explaining that their initial promises to be committed to struggle for the interests of Awoites and restoring sanity to the most radical hall in the university remains intact.

The hall executive said after serious agitations and deliberations over water challenges,  water supply has been restored to Awo Hall Annex.

Part of the release read, “We are pleased to inform all Awoites that as part of our promises during the campaign that alternative water supply would be put in place, management has completed work on the borehole project at block 7 of Obafemi Awolowo hall and the borehole project commenced work on Friday, August 18th, 2017 and the water is drinkable.

“In a bid to remain committed to our electoral promises of providing alternating solution to water supply in the hall we would love to inform the generality of Awoites that the well in front of block 8 is now opened 24/7, and also plans are ongoing to purchase a water pumping machine to be placed inside the well so as to supply water during interruption in the water supply from taps in our great hall.

“We are also pleased to inform you that plan is ongoing for the extension of the borehole project to the annex section of the hall to allow the occupants of the annex section and the yellow blocks to also benefit from the project.”

“In a bid to revive the sporting spirit of conscious Awoites, the Executive Council of Castle of Great Men has successfully put in place double viewing system of all television sporting events for Obafemi Awolowo Hall occupants and there is unlimited subscription to cater for the generality of Awoites. We would love to inform you that this Awo Hall executives has acquired a standard table-tennis for recreational purposes in the best interest of Awoites.

“Also, the dead and unproductive information/board of Awo hall is undergoing the process of resuscitation. The executive uses this medium to inform Awoites that the General Secretary is working earnestly and tirelessly to bring back the information/editorial board to life”, the statement stated.

UNILAG, OAU, UNN Win Maritime Blueprint Competition

By Adejumo Kabir

The Law students of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsuka have won the second edition of the Maritime Blueprint competition that took place in the University of Lagos.

The debate competition sponsored by Sifax Group had in attendance law students of eight Nigerian universities where UNILAG came first with 85 points, while OAU and UNN came second and third with 78 and 75 points respectively.

The Group Executive Vice Chairman of Sifax Group, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, who spoke at the end of the competition said there is a need to broaden the knowledge of law students on maritime industry.

Other schools present at the competition include; Bowen University, University of Benin, Lagos State University and Babcock University.

Why OAU ASUU Shunned Nationwide Strike

By Kabir Adejumo

The academic Staff Union of the University (ASUU), Obafemi Awolowo University Branch, Ile -Ife in their unusual and unprecedented manner shunned the ongoing nationwide strike of the union which commenced on Monday.

ASUU, OAU during the weekend at the union congress resolved not to join the ongoing nationwide strike

According to the leadership of the union, it was shelved to allow students of the university to write their first semester examination for 2016/2017 session scheduled to hold between 14th of August and 2nd of September, 2017.

Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, ASUU OAU Caretaker Chairman who spoke with our reporter in a telephone conversation said “we have decided in the congress that we won’t join the strike. Our students need to write their exam and larger percentage of our members has decided not to join the strike”.

A source at the congress told our reporter that the union members engaged in serious argument at the congress on how the national leadership of the union woul feel if the university branch refused to join, but superior and majority position overwhelmed such argument and supported shunning the strike.

It was learnt that the union members reflected on the prolonged academic calendar during the last session during the battle between the workerss union and the management over the appointment of the Vice Chancellor.

It was however resolved that the university chapter may join the strike if not call off after the completion of the first semester examination.

Meanwhile there are indication that the strike my end today. The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), may end in two days.

In an interview with Journalists, the Minister stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has a policy of engaging unions, including ASUU.

“I hope and believe that this would end in the next two days. We have a policy of engaging the unions, including ASUU and I think now we are very serious.

“This is the first time in two years that ASUU is declaring a strike,” Adamu said.

Adamu also held a closed-door meeting with the leader of the Federal Government Renegotiation Team, Dr. B. O Babalakin (SAN).

Babalakin had in January, inaugurated the 16-member team to renegotiate the 2009 agreement.

OAU Worker Arrested For Account Forgery, Gets Bail

By Kabir Adejumo

An employee of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun State, Mutiu Adedokun, who is standing trial for allegedly forging the Postgraduate College’s statement of account to cover up an alleged N221,000 fraud, has been released on bail by a Magistrate Court sitting in Ile-Ife.

The court granted Adedokun the bail of N200,000 and one surety in like sum.

Presiding Magistrate, Mrs Risikat Olayemi said, the surety must swear to an affidavit of means and be resident within the court’s jurisdiction.

In addition, the surety must be a civil servant of not less than Grade Level 05.

Adedokun, 36, is facing a three count charge of fraud, stealing and forgery.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Sunday Osanyintuyi, told the court that the accused committed the offences between April 28, 2015 and January 1, 2016 at the OAU.

Osanyintuyi alleged that the accused collected N221,000 from the complainant, Capt. Bukola Olanrewaju, with a promise to help him pay his school fees.

”The accused collected the N221,000 from Olanrewaju and converted the money to his own.”

According to him, the accused also forged the university’s postgraduate college’s statement of account to perpetrate the fraud.

The offences, he noted, contravened sections 383, 390 (9), 419, 465 and 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun.

The accused pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Mr. Oluwafunso Adedokun, urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms, promising he will not jump bail.

The case was adjourned till September 27 for hearing.

OAU NSRC Speaker Expresses Concern Over Nigerian Youths Political Leadership

By Adejumo Kabir

The Speaker of National Association of Students of English and Literary Studies Representative Council, Obafemi Awolowo University chapter, (NSRC OAU), Adelowo Adegboyega, has questioned the capacity of youths in taking a huge leadership responsibility.

He stated this in reaction to the #NotTooYoungToRunBill, recently passed by the National Assembly in an interaction with our reporter on Tuesday.

He said, the natural resources used to measure the richness of a country are important, but not as important as youths of the nation and on that basis, youths play vital role in the growth of the country.

He expressed concern over the capacity of youths in taking such responsibility considering their prevailing attitudes.

He said, “Most Nigerian youths may not be better than the ‘elders’ in governance presently due to evidence in the various cases of misappropriation and some other vices that are rampant among students’ union leaders in the country today”.

Adegboyega said that it is unequivocally clear that the current leaders in the country have been at the helm of power since the youthful hue sits on their skins and have since then retained their spots at the top.

He charged Nigerian youths to be good assets that could be useful and be catalysts  for a better Nigeria.

“What we, the youths can do for our country is to be ready to take the bull by the horn by shunning all sorts of societal vice, by thinking critically and also do our utmost in making Nigeria skirmish the irony of being a rich and a poor country. Just then, we won’t be too young to run”, he stressed.

OAU Commences Distance Learning Degree Programmes In Accounting, Nursing And Economics

By Adejumo Kabir

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has introduced e-Learning for some of its programmes, which are to be administered through its Centre for Distance Learning.

Following the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC), OAUCDL has started receiving applications into its E-Learning programme for B.Sc. Degrees in Accounting, Economics and Nursing.

Since its establishment, the Centre has been striving to keep abreast of the most up-to-date methods of distance learning practice by continually updating its modes of lecture delivery to reflect the latest proven concepts, methods and practices.

The centre is designed in a way that open and distance education is best accomplished through E-learning, which is the mode adopted by OAUCDL.

The programme is administered online through a customised study tablet called the Vigitab. Students do not have to report to a physical classroom. Their lecture room is on the Vigitab which would be given to each student upon resumption.

Quizzes and assignments would be taken and submitted online while lecture videos, hand-outs in PDF format and other additional materials and references as the instructor deems necessary would be distributed through the Vigitab platform.

The curricula for various programmes are the same as for regular in-house programmes within the University; hence, certificate for degree and diploma programmes are the same as for full-time students.

The total time to complete an online course is equivalent to that of campus regular programme and the same degree would be awarded after the completion of the programme.