It was a cool and breezy morning on Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, campus, on March 6th, one of those days that students visit the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) for a cash withdrawal before going for classes.
While it was a nice outing for many, it was otherwise for Adeleye Dolapo, a final year student of the department of English who was openly assaulted by one of the institution’s lecturers.
The student was on a queue trying to make a withdrawal from the UBA ATM at White House, Faculty of Science around 11 am when a lecturer of Atmospheric Physics, A. I. Ajao pounced on him.
POLITICS NIGERIA gathered that the queue at the ATM was long and students had to take the pain of lining up on the road. Trouble started when Mr Ajao who was driving by, suddenly challenged the students for obstructing vehicular movement.
Dolapo, who was on the queue proceeded to explain the situation of things to the lecturer. A visibly incensed Mr Ajao alighted from his car and charged at the student.
Speaking on the incident, Dolapo said; “We had an encounter when he asked every student to leave the road. He came down from his car to threaten me but I never took him seriously because no one bullies another on OAU campus”.
“In the blink of an eye, he already hit me. My phone fell and blood came out of my nose”, the attacked student said.
Following Mr Ajao’s actions, Dolapo called on other students to express his displeasure over the incident.
Not pleased with all that played out, the students stormed the embattled lecturer’s office to question him and asked for his side of the story. In his office, Mr Ajao made a confession that he truly assaulted the student. He, however, said this act was done out of ‘annoyance’.
“I did not just slap him because I wanted to slap him. I slapped him when he was becoming rude to me. He was closed to me with pride, raising his voice at me and then I slapped him out of annoyance,” he said.
POLITICS NIGERIA is in possession of a video of his confession.
Kazeem Olalekan, a student leader who was there to moderate the matter alongside other colleagues, expressed shock and disappointment at the lecturer’s actions.
“You have done what OAU students and management do not condone and as such you will be brought to book”, the student said.
Following the uproar, Mr Ajao called the university security accusing the students of disrespecting “constituted authority”. When the school security officials arrived, they listened to the matter and agreed that the lecturer was guilty of assault. He was thereafter, arrested and made to write a statement at the security unit.
When contacted, the chief security officer of the school, Babatunde Oyatokun told POLITICS NIGERIA that the security had informed university management about the issue.
“The university is aware of the conduct of the lecturer. We will file our report and we can assure you that proper action would be taken”.
When asked if the lecturer would be punished or not, Mr Oyatokun simply said: “nobody is above the law”.
The lecturer should be punished. Yes I agree with that but please he should not be removed from office. It is really hard to get another job. Do not let what he did that day affect his whole life. Thank you.
We should allow the concerned lecturer to face the disciplinary committee of the University.
The matter should not be swept under the carpet.
It is true that physical assault is not allow on the campus but OAU is a campus where Lecturers are highly respected by students. There is no reason traffic should be obstructed in the first instance. The law that restrain physical assault does not condone students being rude to a lecturer. Why has OAU come to news on every matter of late? I’m worried about this and the students should also be worried about the image of their Alma mata.