The management of Obafemi Awolowo University has begun a probe into a fracas that involved a male student and a lecturer of the university.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the student identified simply as Gift, who is a 200-level student at the university, suddenly dashed into a lecture room where the lecturer, identified simply as Dr Ariyo, was conducting a class on Wednesday.
Sources on the campus disclosed that Gift was said to have mistaken the class for the one he was to attend and upon realising this, he quickly made attempts to exit the class when the lecturer called him back.
A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lecturer engaged the student in an argument, which eventually degenerated into a scuffle.
“He thought the class was meant for him as well. When he saw that the faces in the class were strange, he quickly dashed out. The lecturer then called him back. After a while, we discovered that the lecturer invited the security personnel to take the student. He also dragged the student’s phone,” the source said.
In one of the videos of the incident that circulated online, the student was seen struggling with a man said to be a security official. The student was also seen making an attempt to press his phone when the lecturer shouted, “Don’t call anybody! Switch off that phone! You can’t be more than me, even if you’re the VC’s son, I won’t take this from you. Switch off the phone!”
“What did I do?” the student, Gift, was heard saying.
After some seconds, the man said to be the lecturer was seen struggling to take the phone from the student whose back was already on the wall. He was subsequently seen throwing a punch at the student afterward as other students in the class watched in amazement. The Students’ Union spokesperson, Elijah Omisore, when contacted, condemned the incident, saying the union was demanding that the lecturer be prosecuted.
“We are investigating the matter. The lecturer is planning to apologise but we’re not taking any apology. We want the necessary prosecution,” Omisore told PUNCH Metro.
Narrating the incident further in a statement shared with our correspondent by Omisore, the union said, “Around 10 am, the union leadership got information that a lecturer, Dr Ariyo, was harassing Gift, a Part 2 student. Information has it that Gift mistakenly walked into the lecturer’s class trying to locate the venue for his lecture but learned that it was not his class and left immediately. Still, he was called back by Dr Ariyo, and an argument erupted, leading to a physical assault from the lecturer against the student.”
“We demand an open hearing and a public apology from Dr Ariyo, to the generality of Great Ife students; That the lecturer and the entire department make a commitment that the victim and other students in the class won’t face any form of victimisation moving forward,” the statement added.
The union said the lecturer alleged impersonation.
Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Abiodun Olarewaju, also condemned the action of the lecturer but said a probe into the matter had begun.
Olarewaju said, “We’ve seen the video. The Vice-Chancellor is not happy about it. We are not known for such behaviour and we have decided to go administrative concerning this and we will make our findings known. But for the main time, we just want the students to remain calm. The VC has called the Dean of the faculty involved, who will get in touch with the Head of Department and get in touch with that lecturer.