Varsity Risks Population Decline over Students’ Detention

Written by Akeem Alao

About 30 parents whose children attend Madonna University in Okija, Anambra State have threatened to withdraw their wards from the university over illegal arrest and unlawful detention.

Six out of the students and a lecturer who went on Facebook to post their opinions over poor management in the school were arrested and detained in February.

One of the parents, Christopher Onyejekwe, who expressed his displeasure over the school’s action, told reporters that the institution was likely to lose over 200 students next semester.

According to him, efforts to pacify the founder of the institution were fruitless as it was difficult to meet him for one-to-one discussion.

He added that: “It has become a fight to finish; these children have been in detention since February 11. Four of my children attend the school.”

Meanwhile, the absence of Justice Babtunde Quadri of the Federal High Court 2 in Awka also stalled the release of the detainees.

The court was visited by parents, human rights activists and concerned individuals. Besides, before now, members of the National Association of Nigeria students (NANs), led by the Southeast Vice Chairman, Chidi Ilogebe, had organised a protest at the Federal High Court against the institution.

Ilogebe said: “We came to register our dissatisfaction on how the management of Madonna University is treating our colleagues. Sometime in February, we got information that the police, following a petition by the school management, arrested some students.” “The petition alleged that the students were criminals, cultists and fraudsters, but we know that our members are not kidnappers, fraudsters or cultists. We decided to investigate the matter and understood that the petition was written to get the accused out of the NYSC camp and their parents’ homes. A further investigation revealed that the school management was acting because the students wrote against them on social media,” he added.

Although the detainees appeared in court for hearing but were taken back to Amawbia prisons because the court could not sit due to the absence of the judge.

About the author

Akeem Alao

Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.

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