Philip Olatinwo
Philip Olatinwo

NANS, other groups in solidarity with expelled UI student

Court gives judgment July 10

Students Union keeps mute

NEWS DIGEST – The SouthWest body of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has expressed their support and solidarity for Philip Olatinwo, a student expelled from the University of Ibadan (UI), three years ago.

This is coming barely less than 24 hours before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, delivers judgement on the case.

Checks by News Digest indicated that Olatinwo was a 400-level undergraduate and a ‘student-activist’, before his expulsion.

The veterinary medicine student, was expelled by the University management on the 6th of March, 2017, for allegedly disrupting a dinner party, organised by students of Queen Idia Hall in the university.

According to a controversial audio recorded with a smartphone, it was gathered that the student was not expelled, but only suspended from academic activities for four semesters.

Olatinwo, however has maintained his innocence on the allegation, asking the panelists in the institution to prove otherwise.

Public Relations officer (PRO) of the Zone D body of NANS, Kazeem Olalekan Israel, while speaking to NewsDigest, explained that their “foremost students’ association is throwing its weight behind him and hope he (Philip Platonic as Olatinwo is popularly called) triumph in court so that his studentship, which has been truncated since 3 years ago, will be restored.

According to the PRO, “There is no other thing that NANS would think about the issue of victimisation than what it is, which is victimisation. There is no point being economical with the truth, and, as an association, our solidarity is always with the oppressed people, most especially students.

“Because it is a mandate placed on us by the NANS Charter of Demand. Earlier this year, NANS issued a statement to condemn victimisation which is gradually becoming a norm in our tertiary institutions today, and we did plan to stage a protest against such, because there are many of such cases in our higher institutions today.

“But, the threat of Coronavirus could not to allow us stage the protest though the plan is still on ground.”

News Digest, also gathered that the Campaign against Victimization and For Independent Student’s Unionism (CAVISU), a students’ rights group in UI, has pledge its solidarity with the embattled Olatinwo.

However, efforts to reach the President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Akeju Oluwasegun, proved abortive as the President, who has been described by some students as a management’s lackey, refused responding to messages sent to his mobile lines, by our reporter.