Court Dismisses Suit Filed Against Covenant University by Student over expulsion

An Ogun High Court sitting in Ota has dismissed a suit filed against the Covenant University, over the expulsion of a pupil the school authority expelled last year for misconduct.

Justice Mobolaji Ojo, in his judgement dismissed the suit filed by 20-year-old Longji Vwamhi, a 400 level student of Information and Communication Technology Department, challenging the university over his expulsion for lack of merit.

It will be recalled that the claimant, Longji, a 400 level student of the institution was expelled on November 27, 2012 after a student disciplinary sitting, which found him guilty of listening to secular music, possessing pornographic materials on his laptop and indescent dressing.

The judge, however, urged the school chancellor to adopt the prerogative of mercy, urging the school authorities to recall the claimant so that his educational career would not be jeopardised, as well as to avert possible miscarriage of justice and wastage of human and resources invested, noting that Longji needed encouragement to complete his education.

The Covenant University, its vice chancellor and chancellor are the first, second and third defendants, respectively while Felix’s mother, Mrs Indo Felix Vwamhi,  of Block House 13 Mbora  Estate, Abuja is a co-plaintiff in the suit.

In his judgment, the court found out that the student had indeed violated the university regulations as contained in chapter 4 section 35 of its student hand book which prohibits public display or possession of pornographic films  or photograph.

Ojo pointed out that the student also admitted being in possession of the laptop containing the pornographic materials and sharing same laptop with friends in the school.

He, however, stated that the panel set up by the university to try the student did not violate section 36 of the 1999 constitution as amended and the principles of “Audi Alterem  Partem and Nemo Judex in Causa Sua”.That one cannot be a judge in his own course.”

According to him, the claimant did not state categorically that the chairman of the panel was biased being the Dean of Students Affairs whose staff investigated the student in question.

Ojo  also faulted the claimant’s counsel for his  inability to file a counter affidavit against the issues raised by the respondents, adding that, in a situation where the party to a dispute could not file counter affidavit it would be assumed he admitted.

After the judgment, counsel for the defendants, Mr Felix Agbanwu, promised to relate the advise of the court for a recall of the student to the school authorities, expressing his gratitude for the court’s decision, saying, “it was a meritorous judgment that was well delivered, as there were no merits in the complaints presented by the claimant before the court.”

Counsel for the claimant, Mr Segun Fatoki, also expressed willingness to follow the court’s advise to the university to recall of the student in the interest of humanity. “The only thing that can be done now is to make an appeal but that decision has not been made yet. We plead for a release of the boy’s transcript up till the time he was expelled but that was not addressed by the court.”

 

[Tribune]

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