Our correspondent gathered on Friday that the students were arraigned at a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ile Ife on Thursday for allegedly assaulting a warden identified simply as Mrs. Adeyemo and others.
The students are Gbenga Oloruniran, a fourth-year student of Geography Department; Olajide Ademola, a final year student of Electrical Electronics Engineering Department; Oyedeji Samson, a third-year student of Pharmacy Department; Jimoh Oladipupo, a third-year student of Biochemistry; and Adeniji John, a third-year student of Electrical Electronics Engineering Department.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. F. I Omisade, was said to have granted the students bail in the sum of N500,000 each and each with a surety that must be a level 14 officer.
However, the students could not meet the bail conditions, hence they were whisked to the Ile Ife Prison custody. The case was adjourned till April 3.
A human rights activist, Mr. Alfred Adegoke, who said he represented the students in the case, condemned the university management for allegedly putting their students in jail for what he called a misdemeanour.
Adegoke said, “The students were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate for a trumped-up charge. You need to see the students and see the hefty security men that the university management asked to eject the students from their hostel.
“Those students cannot assault those hefty security men in any way. It was a false allegation. The university just wanted the students to be punished. I told the magistrate that I would stand surety for the students but he said no.
“The vice-chancellor should stand as surety for them; they are his students. Where will they get level 14 officers to stand for them? Some of them are not based in Osun State, so they will be in prison until April 3.”
The Deputy Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Mr. Saheed Afolabi, told our correspondent on the telephone that he visited the students at the prison on Friday and that they were in a “terrible” condition.
He called on the management of the university to ensure the release of the students, saying the students could have been made to face the disciplinary committee.
When contacted, OAU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said the students were arraigned by the police and not the university.
He said the male students were found at Moremi, a female hostel by 10:00 am and they should not be there at that time of the day, let alone assaulting the warden as being charged.
“Some criminals who are not even students live in the hostels and we say let’s renovate the hostels and begin to live decently,” the VC added.