The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has asked two students, Cyprian Igwe and Olamilekan Oladeru, who were expelled by the University of Abuja in July, over an alleged plan to protest against the proposed fees hike to appear before it on Tuesday.
The students had petitioned the Senate, asking the Red Chamber to intervene and prevail on the university authorities to reinstate them, so as not to suffer for an offence they did not commit.
Oladeru petitioned the Senate through Senator Fadahunsi Adenigba, representing Osun East Senatorial District, while Igwe wrote through Senator Victor Umeh, representing Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Both Igwe and Oladeru, the Director of Socials and Culture, as well as the Director of Sports of the UniAbuja Students’ Union respectively, recently finished their final-year examinations and were awaiting their results to proceed on the mandatory National Youth Service when they were expelled from school for the alleged offence.
The school had accused them of allegedly inciting other students to go on protest if the school authorities refused, within five days, to rescind its decision to increase school fees.
Following their expulsion, they took the case to the Senate to intervene.
When contacted for an update on the development, Igwe told The PUNCH that he had been invited by the Senate to appear before a committee assigned to investigate the matter.
He further noted that he had been invited to appear before the Senate about a week earlier, but the hearing was stalled due to the nationwide labour union strike.
The letter signed by the Clerk to the committee, Umar Yabo Clerk, and backdated to November 15 but was reportedly received by Igwe on Monday, November 20, partly reads, “Re: Invitation to the Public Hearing of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in Respect of the Petition From Igwe Chukwuemeka Cyprian Against the University of Abuja for Alleged Wrongful Accusation, Detention and Rustication From the Institution
“I am directed to write and inform you that the committee’s hearing earlier scheduled for 14th November, 2023 which could not be held due to the strike action has been rescheduled as follows:
“Date: Tuesday, 21st November 2023; venue: Meeting Room 120, New Senate Building, National Assembly Complex, Abuja. Time: 3:00 pm.”
Meanwhile, Oladeru noted that he would be appearing alongside Igwe before the Senate since he (Igwe) was mandated to present an oral witness.
Oladeru said, “I’ll be appearing before the Senate alongside Igwe because we are both affected by this, and he was asked to present an oral witness. We want the Senate to reinstate us as bonafide students of UniAbuja and also look into the school fees to allow the less privileged to afford federal treatment and also to avoid many drops out as the crime rate on campus is getting alarming already.”