HALEEM OLATUNJI and AKINGBOHUNGBE OLUWATOSIN
The University of Ibadan Students’ Union led by Mr. Ojo Oluwanifemi and Rt. Hon. Onifade Bello, for the SU Executive and Legislative Council respectively, has championed the release of Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu, a student of History in the Institution and a representative of Nnamdi Azikwe Hall at the SRC level.
The Students of the University of Ibadan had protested in the early hours of Friday 21st October 2016 at the Ojoo Police Station against the arrest of one of them, Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu, by members of the police force, which according to them, was based on unjustified reasons.
Irrespective of the number of security personnel and security vehicles which converged at the Ojoo police Station, the aggrieved students barricaded some part of the Ojoo roundabout as they demanded that until their arrested is released, they will not leave the spot.
While the Students began to gyrate, upon expectation that the arrested colleague will be released and brought to them, the Dean of Student, Professor A. T. P Ajuwape, Deputy Dean of Students, Professor Abiona, Students’ Union President, Mr. Ojo Nifemi, Speaker of the SRC, Rt. Hon. Onifade Bello, UCJUI Editor-in-chief, Mr. Haleem Olatunji, Tedder Hall General Secretary, Mr. Temmy Gista and the DPO of Sango Police Station, Mrs. Joyce Maiyaki, headed to the office of the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, CP Sam Adegbuyi, at the police headquarters in Eleyele.
On getting there, the representatives met with the Commissioner of Police as well as other member the force. While speaking with the students’ representatives, the CP advised them as he said he called them to give ‘a sermon’. He added that although, Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu will be released, a day should be decided when all the parties involved in the case shall come together to resolve it.
“I have called the magistrate to facilitate the release. A day, either Monday or Tuesday should be chosen when the parties will come and we will settle it”, the CP said.
Having met the CP, the representatives continued their journey for the release of their colleague as they headed for the Magistrate Court in Moniya police station. When they got, they were told that the court was in session, hence they are to wait patiently till the session ended. After about an hour, the paper works were completed and the representatives headed to the Nigeria Prison Service, Agodi, Ibadan.
After few minutes, Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu was released and was brought to the representatives from the University of Ibadan, by the DPO of Sango Police Station.
The students of the University of Ibadan and the People of Ojoo responded with great joy and happiness when Mr. Abdullahi was brought to Ojoo by the representatives, as the atmosphere was filled with prayers and congratulatory messages from the residents of the community.
In a phone conversation with UCJUI Correspondent, Mr. Abdullahi Aliyu gave account of how the incident took place. In his own words;
“About 3 days ago, in the evening at around 7:30 pm, I was coming from my Grandma’s place, my house at Ojoo, I stopped by at the round-about area to purchase a Blackberry charger . I negotiated with the guy and he said it was worth the sum of four hundred and fifty naira, I got the Charger and left for Zik Hall, without testing the charger. I tried using the charger when I got to the hall but it did not work at all.”
“I went back to the shop where I purchased the Charger but met his wife there, I complained to her about the charger since she was there when I made the purchase, she then told me to go meet her husband and on meeting the husband he said I should go meet his wife and they continued playing me around.
‘I was not happy about it, then I tapped the man on the shoulder, he stood up and gave me a punch on my chest, asking if I looked like his mate. On the long run, he invited his Igbo friends, they started making fun of me and mocking me, one of them said that if I don’t want the charger, I should wait till the next two months when he would go to the market before I should come back. I was wondering why they were all behaving like this, and then, I said OK and that I am coming back for you guys, the plan was for me to actually call soldiers, probably my brother that is a soldier, but my brother is a calm person and he won’t answer me. There is a brother of mine that is also a graduate so I just called him to come attend to the issue.”
“When he got there, fortunately for them, they were friends and they were discussing about how to go about the issue. I got there and I was putting on a Camo Shirt which my sister gave to me. Immediately I got there, the wife of the woman started saying I was a soldier and I have come to beat her up.
“She went to meet a Police officer and they were friends so the Police officer came immediately and hijacked my belt, my trousers and asked me if I was a Soldier and I said NO, and immediately before I could say anything he landed a slap on my face and started beating me clearing me to the ground. My brother was saying to them, please stop this, he is a student, let him go , he has a Test to write, then they said to him that we had planned together and they started beating my brother, dragging him on the floor. Infact, a gun was used to injure him.”
“While they were trying to drag us into the Police station, one of the police man who was on uniform, had a loose button, and the other policeman had a broken skin around the eye and I am sure it was during the struggle not that my brother did anything, so they accused us of beating a policeman. While we were in the police station, they continued beating us and then tore our clothes saying we were pretending to be soldiers, tore my shirt and then I explained to them, that it was my sister that gave me the shirt and it was not for anything.”
“We already wrote a statement, the following morning we were supposed to be released but they told my brother to write another statement and they started to lay pressure on him to put down what he does not want to write and he said he won’t write what they asked him to so the Policemen said they would forward the case to the Court then and my brother said OK, that they should go to Court. He hired a Lawyer immediately and they pleaded for a bail. The sitting of the Court is to hold on the 29th of November and that was it.”
He appreciated the efforts of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union, as he said that the struggle “was successful and I am thinking of writing a letter of appreciation to them, the UCJ and to all those who participated.”
The Speaker of the Students’ Representatives Council in a chat with UCJUI Correspondent said that he was glad as the struggle was a success. He commended the effort of Uites for their intellectual display and patience. He urged students of the University of Ibadan to always stand up against injustice using intellectual and diplomatic measures.
According to him, “I would like to state the struggle has shown that Uites are intellectually radicals in the pursuit of their rights. The incident has shown that we would always pursue our rights using all diplomatic and radical measures without being violent. I’m wowed today because nobody spoilt anything nor was anybody injured. Kudos to all Uites who came out en masse for the sake of our arrested colleague who has now been released.”
He further stated that, “I would like to note that many members of the Nigerian Police Force still lack professional civil engagements; they need training and retraining to handle civil disobedience or demonstrations. However, my hearty appreciation goes to our mother, the DPO of Sango police station. She’s really a mother and as it stands I’d like to state emphatically that she’s the only Nigerian Police Officer whom I can trust; because she’s a professional, energetic and she optimizes the evasive maxim of “Police is your friend.”
“Likewise, I would like to appreciate the responsive response of the Deputy Dean of Students and the Dean as well as the fatherly cooperation of the Commissioner of Police of Oyo State. Even though the Premier Union is being denigrated, our Union still remains the Premier Aluta whose abilities must not be tested with frivolities. Our ideology remains strong that “Injury to one is injury to all.” God bless our Union.”, he added.