University student expelled for criticizing Akwa Ibom Governor on Facebook
He was informed by authorities of Akwa Ibom University that his article defamed and insulted the governor.
Ekpo used the pseudonym, Afrosix Jaara, wrote the article in 2019, where he accused Akwa Ibom Governor Emmanuel Udom of not fulfilling his promise to grant financial rewards to the then graduating students of the university.
“It’s 2 years and 166 days since he promised, yet none of the graduands received a Naira…even the first-class graduands were unattended to when they went to his office,” Ekpo wrote in the Facebook post.
He added that Governor Emmanuel “scammed” the students for not keeping to his promise.
‘Breach of matriculation oath’
The post was badly received by the school’s management.
Ekpo received a letter signed by the Registrar of his university, John Udo, on the 9th of April 2021, revealing his expulsion for “gross misconduct.”
His article was also described as “derogatory and defamatory.”
He was made to understand that publishing his article “constitutes a breach of the matriculation oath and violation of the university rules as enshrined in the Student Information Handbook.
“You are hereby expelled from the university for this gross act of misconduct which constitutes a breach of the matriculation oath.
“You are required to submit to the Dean, Division of Student Affairs your student identity card and any other property of the university in your possession before your exit from the university.
“The Chief Security Officer is by a copy of this letter, directed not to allow you entry into the university campuses.”
Ekpo replied to the expulsion stating that;
He has written a letter to the university through his lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, protesting that he wasn’t given a fair hearing by the university.
He stated that he was not invited to appear before any disciplinary committee before his expulsion made official.
Ekpo is also demanding N20 million from the university as“general damages and gross breach of his fundamental rights.
“We will like to know whether the Matriculation Oath Of the Akwa Ibom State University requires students to surrender their fundamental right to freedom of expression as guaranteed them by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) upon admission into the university,” Ekpo’s letter reads.
The spokesman for the Akwa Ibom State Governor is yet to give a response to requests for comments on this story.
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