University of Abuja Authorities Expel Students for Calling for Protest over Tuition Fees Increase

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On May 26, 2023, the authorities of the University of Abuja expelled two student union leaders: Mr. Cyprian Igwe, the Director of Socials of the university’s students’ union, and Mr. Olamilekan Samson Oladeru, the Director of Sports, for calling for a meeting and protest by students over the institution’s increase of tuition fees.

The rustication letter signed by Alkasim Umar, the University’s deputy registrar, accused the students of circulating an inciteful press release “capable of jeopardising the peaceful and smooth conduct of academic activities in the university and a breach of the University Matriculation Oath”. By the letter, the Vice Chancellor ordered their rustication and ban “from all university campuses pending the determination of the case.”

Cyprian had posted on the Student Union’s WhatsApp group expressing his displeasure at the University’s April 29, 2023, decision to increase school fees while Olamilekan was accused of circulating a press release. Both students had written their final year exams and were waiting for their call up for the mandatory one-year service.

The rustication letter reads in part: “Your actions are capable of jeopardising the peaceful smooth conduct of academic activities in the university and a breach of the university matriculation oath. By the powers conferred on the Vice Chancellor as contained in the University of Abuja Act, he on behalf of the senate has directed your immediate rustication from the university. Accordingly, you are banned from all university campuses pending the determination of the case.”

The President of the Students’ Union, Emmanuel Anyantayo Emitayo and Speaker of Unions’ Parliament, Muhammad Bahar, confirmed that a communique was circulated but claimed that their signatures were forged in the communique circulated on various social media platforms in the school.

However, the University has officially recalled the rustication letters issued to the students saying it was issued in error.