Contrary to claims by the police, the two people arrested during a convocation ceremony at the University of Lagos, Tuesday, did not attack or plan to attack the vice chancellor, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
Femi Adeyeye and Dotun Olawoye were arrested inside the convocation hall by security agents and taken away by the police.
The suspects were taken to the Sabo Police Station, and later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, before they were released.
While Mr. Adeyeye is a former student of the university who was rusticated last year over a Facebook post criticising the school’s management, Mr. Olawoye, a cameraman with Sahara Reporters, was attending the convocation of his elder brother, Segun.
Mr. Adeyeye, who was a 400 level student in the Department of Building, was rusticated for four semesters.
The state-owned News Agency of Nigeria reported the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, as confirming the arrest of the ‘students’ and added that the leader of the group that planned the attack was also arrested.
“Policemen have been deployed in the institution to ensure that the convocation week went without any hitch,” Mr. Owoseni said.
But multiple witnesses who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said the two men did not look like they were attacking anyone in the hall.
“Dotun was arrested for bringing a camera into the hall while Femi was arrested for daring to set foot into the university after his rustication,” a student, who preferred not to be named to avoid victimisation from the school, said.
In a video posted online by Sahara TV, Mr. Adeyeye was seen trying to approach the podium but was blocked by the university’s security men and the police.
Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, was also seen telling the security officers that Mr. Adeyeye was supposed to be among the graduating students but was suspended because of a post on Facebook.
The duo were then manhandled by the security agents.
Segun Olawoye, one of the graduating students, said the Sahara Reporters crew were initially barred from entering the convocation hall.
“I was asking them why are they harassing us? This is graduation and they came for me, so what’s the crime? Did he bring in gun? Is this not a camera?” Asked Mr. Olawoye, who also works for Sahara Reporters.
“It was that annoyance of preventing us to get in that Baba So’ (as Mr. Sowore is fondly called) went in and went to the front, the place they said they reserved for some people that were not even around.
“Femi Adeyeye went to sit with him. They were trying to prevent them at first but the moment they saw we were recording, they left them.”
Mr. Olawoye said after his younger brother, Dotun, and Mr. Adeyeye, were arrested and taken away, he went to Sabo police station to check if they were there but was beaten and detained.
“It was only because I was able to make a call and send a text about what was happening to me that their boss later asked them to release me,” Mr. Olawoye said.
“From there, I went to the Police Commissioner’s office where I saw Dotun and Femi in hand cuffs. Why chain them? What was their offence?”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that after their release, the duo were directed to return to the State CID on Wednesday by 12 noon.