The authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have confirmed the suspension of four students for protesting and disrupting academic activities.
The university, in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, on Friday, also accused the suspended students of engaging in criminal activities.
Other offences of the students, according to the press statement, were the breach of the code of conduct for the University community and a violation of their matriculation oath.
The students are Ibukun Omole, who is studying Civil Engineering; Tosin Jacob, Law; John Udeh, Arts and Social Sciences; and Babatunde Oluwalade of the Department of English.
The statement read in part, “The suspended students led some other persons in protest and violently disrupted academic and extra curricular activities of the University by forcefully chasing other students out of the lecture halls under the guise of demonstrating against an alleged unsatisfactory power supply to the campus.
“The students, together with other persons, vandalised commercial transport vehicles of the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Ile Ife, and drove two other vehicles and a Cabstar van, loaded with their groups, to More Police Station where other students, who were being interrogated by the police, were forcefully released by their group.”
It added that the suspended students had been asked to vacate the university premises pending the conclusion of police investigation of their criminal activities.
When contacted on the telephone, the Speaker of the OAU Students’ Union, Faleye Tope, faulted the suspension of the students.
He said the protest embarked upon was non-violent and was crime-free.
He said, “The union stands against the victimisation of our students. Even the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives room for freedom of expression. During the protest, there was neither violence, vandalisation nor criminal activities.
“We demand the unconstitutional reinstatement of our students.”