Ignorant of the law of any given entity is no excuse when it is violated and such violation attracts certain penalty as spelt out in its guidelines. One needs to be properly informed about it as well recognize that as s/he values his/her freedom, so also s/he expected to respect the right and freedom of others. For, where the right of a man ends, there begins the right of another.
The case of involving Ini-Obong Ekpo, a student of Akwa Ibom State University over his alleged post on Facebook, verbally attacking the executive governor of the State, Udom Emmanuel in a controversial statement about the state’s affairs (Constructive criticism in an open opinion) has become the next internet sensation.
He was suspended on the grounds of calling the governor some malicious names in the post he made since last year November which he tagged “Udom and the wizkid tongue.”
As a matter of fact, all students are supposed to maintain a high standard of personal integrity as they conduct themselves maturely and peacefully. There are certain behaviours the school regard as unethical, immoral, dishonest, disloyal and destructive especially when a highly placed individual both in and out of the campus is concerned.
According to what is available in the school information hand book, the University is naturally concerned about the actions of some individuals and a group of individuals which may conflict with the overall goal and integrity of the University, or infringe upon and or disregard the rights of others.
Although, individuals have the right to express different opinions but imposition of such opinions upon others especially the “Big and Mighty” is totally frowned upon.
Ekpo Iniobong Isang aka Afrosix Jaara is the student suspended indefinitely by the Akwa Ibom State University with the unnecessary excuse that he insulted Governor Udom Emmanuel on Facebook.
According to him, the school management had convened a meeting on 26th August, 2020 (while schools were not on session because of the covid-19 lockdown) for the hearing of his facebook post against the governor. According to the school management, a letter was sent to him to appear before the panel, but he Ekpo, Iniobong said he never received a letter or any invitation verbally from the school, for an appearance before the panel. He said the only letter he had ever received from the school was a letter of indefinite suspension which was sent to his parents in Lagos.”
“It should be noted that,
1. The school authority convened its 63rd meeting at a time when school was not on session and the said student was in Lagos.
2. The student in question did not receive any invitation letter to appear before the said 63rd Senate Meeting as claimed by the school.
3. The school found it funny to suspend a student for saying the truth and call it abusive post.
However, the school management and the senate that deals with matters as regards discipline and other related activities found Ekpo wanting after its 63rd meeting and deem it necessary for his suspension after he failed to appear before the panel.
Apart from moulding intellectual giants, the University is poised not only to award degrees but to train and prepare students for the future. Therefore, for a student to qualify for a degree, such a student must be found worthy not only in learning but also in character. See below the letter of his suspension from the school management;
When Ekpo was contacted via a phone call, he expressed shock over the incident surrounding his suspension as he claimed no letter of invitation was received by him to appear before any panel. He is currently writing his first semester examination in his final year of a five year programme in AKSU.
He pointed out that the only letter he had ever received was that of his suspension from all activities in the school.
He added that from his findings after the letter of suspension was served, it was clear that his suspension came as a result of his refusal to appear before the panel and not necessarily about the post he made as he would have defended himself in the senate.
From what is obtained in the school information hand book, “refusal to appear before a constituted committee or panel set up by the authorities of the University will attract the penalty of indefinite suspension of the student.
When asked if he would challenge the case legally, he responded with a soft note that he’d already contacted his lawyer but wouldn’t want to drag the school in the public eye because AKSU is a brand that must be projected and protect.”
“Thought I feel the pangs of what happened yet I’m not shaken because I’m still going to finish writing my last paper in December and tomorrow is my seminar defense which I’d be there for my presentation,” Ekpo said.
As contained in the school information hand book, all cases of disciplinary actions are subject to appeal and I’d advise that he follows the procedures in order not to lose everything in the end of spending five years of hard work in the University in vein.
Do you think his constructive criticism against the governor warrant this punishment meted on him by the school management? Let’s hear from you. Like, Comment and Share this article to reach others.