For allegedly leading a protest against increase in various fees in the institution, the management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), has rusticated five of its students.
The affected are the Students Union President, Osamudiamen Ogbidi, Justus Aidenagnon, Innocent Momodu, Goodnews Ehiabhi and Benjamin Majekodumi.
Three of the student were rusticated for one academic session while two others were rusticated for two academic session.
They were said to have led other students on a peaceful protest on November 24, 2017, after the institution’s authority had increased the said fees.
It would be recalled that the students who staged the protest during the institution’s convocation ceremony were stopped by security personnel.
UNIBEN’s Public Relations Officers, Michael Osasuyi, however said the students were rusticated over misconduct.
Osasuyi said a committee was set up to investigate whatever that went on, adding that with the committee’s findings, the matter was sent to the disciplinary committee.
“From there, the findings was reported to the Senate, which took the decision of rusticating them. Two were rusticated for two academic session while three were rusticated for one sessions,” Osasuyi said.
He also denied allegations that the University engaged some security agencies to clampdown on the protesting students, adding that the only increment that affected the returning students, was that of the hostel space which he said was optional.
According to him, “The whole thing that happened was that during the convocation, the affected students said there was a hike in the fees. In the first place, the fees of the returning students were not increased.”
“They wrote to the university for a review on a Wednesday afternoon, the day we had our convocation lecture. On Thursday morning, as early as 6:30 am, information got to us that they were mobilising the students for a protest. They could not wait for a feedback.
“The school is not against protests, what the school is against is when you say you are the leaders of tomorrow and you are not learning well.”