Detained ‘UNILAG’ students recount ordeal, threaten legal action

File Photo of UNILAG students protest

The students‎ who were detained last week for protesting against the authorities of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, have threatened to institute a legal action against the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni.

The students, who arrived the mobile court in Oshodi on Thursday morning, were freed after the case against them was struck out by the court.

They, thereafter, marched along the Oshodi expressway in the company of their colleagues, chanting solidarity songs.

The 14 students had earlier been taken into custody on Saturday, on the orders of the Special Offences Mobile Court, Oshodi, where they were arraigned by the police for “riotous invasion” of Lagos-based Television Continental, TVC.

One of them, a visually impaired student, Lawrence Success, was released on Sunday after he was allegedly tortured in prison. He, however, joined his colleagues in court on Thursday morning.

“At Panti Police Station on Saturday, 2 policemen beat me, slapped me and I was not allowed to move. I was detained in the cell on Saturday till Sunday,” Mr. Success told PREMIUM TIMES.

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“When they could not handle me, they brought inmates from the cell to deal with me. Those inmates dragged me inside.

“It was on Sunday evening that I was released on the order of the Deputy Commissioner of Police Lagos state. I was granted bail on that Sunday and I left around 6:00 p.m.”

The students were arrested on the UNILAG campus while protesting the suspension of Mr. Success and demanding the reinstatement of all suspended student activists.

The police initially accused them of invading a television station, TVC, a charge the station refuted saying the students’ protest was peaceful and orderly.

The UNILAG authorities later denounced the students saying some of them had been rusticated from the school while others were not students of the institution.

Several groups including the National Association of Nigerian Students and Education Rights Campaign had condemned the detention of the students‎.

Recounting their ordeals, the other students said they had been made to go through needless torture and threatened to sue the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni.

One of the students, Aina Tomi, while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES at the court premises, said, “We will institute legal action against the commissioner in the next couple of days”.

Another student alleged that they were fed with “half-cooked beans and other poorly prepared food.”

The leader of the students, Femi Adeyeye, who had earlier been rusticated for four semesters by the university, vowed to ensure that the legal suit is instituted against the Lagos State Police chief.

“If anybody is not doing that, I in particular will file a legal action against the Lagos State Commisioner of Police,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview.

When contacted Thursday afternoon, Inibehe Effiong, counsel to the students, said the students will most likely seek legal redress.

“All legal options are on the table,” he said. “We will consider suing both the Nigerian Police Force and the University of Lagos.”

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