The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has set up a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the expulsion of a final year student of a university, who was accused of making “derogatory remarks” against him on Facebook.
The governor, by virtue of his office, is the ‘Visitor’ to the university, which is owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
Mr Ekpo, using a pseudonym, Afrosix Jaara, wrote a Facebook article in 2019 in which he accused Mr Emmanuel of reneging on a promise he allegedly made in 2017 to give financial reward 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,” Mr Ekpo wrote in the Facebook post, adding that Mr Emmanuel may have “scammed” the students.
The university punished the student for the article, which it said was a “breach” of the matriculation oath and a violation of the university rules and regulations enshrined in the Student Information Handbook.
Mr Ekpo was first suspended indefinitely from studies before he was expelled two months ago, an action that the student is challenging through his lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.
He said the university did not give him a fair hearing, as he was never invited to defend himself before he was suspended.
‘Governor Emmanuel not aware of student’s expulsion’
The Commissioner for Education in Akwa Ibom, Idongesit Etiebet, said in a statement on Wednesday that Mr Emmanuel was not aware of Mr Ekpo’s expulsion, and that the matter was not brought to the governor’s attention.
She said the governor has approved the constitution of a five-man panel to “review” the university’s action.
“In the meantime, students of the state-owned institution are advised to be law-abiding and go about their normal academic activities without any fear of intimidation,” she added.