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An Appeal For Justice In My Case: Punish Me If I Am Guilty, If I Am Not, Please Exonerate Me

29 Jun

Dear Sir/Madam: Therefore, I, Noble Eyisi, the impeached and suspended Students’ Union Government President writes this letter as an appeal for justice in my case. I was elected the Students’ Union Government President on the 11th of December 2014 and was inaugurated on the 15th of December of that same year. After my election and the Christmas break, on the 5th of January, our government embarked on the reduction of transport fare in the university from N30 to N20. At first, it seemed an uphill task as the drivers went on strike but with time and by God’s grace, they were back and conformed to the new N20 transport scheme. 

This gave us a very good recommendation and applause from the university management, students and citizens of our state and country. To be candid, the reduction of the transport fare to N20 was a huge sacrifice from the part of the Students’ Union Government as I, the former president sacrificed the sum of N20,000 per day from the Transport Trust Fund (TTF), a sum of money collected by the SUG from drivers. This Transport Trust Fund (TTF) was illegal and unconstitutional as it extorted money from the students (the higher the TTF, the higher the transport fare). For the general students, it brought us love and goodwill as we have helped them save N10 whenever they board a bus, shuttle or keke but from my fellow executives, Students’ Representative Council members (though not inaugurated then) and the judiciary, it brought me hatred as they felt I took away their daily bread because they were supposed to benefit N8,000 daily from the illegal Transport Trust Fund (TTF). I was by God’s grace able to navigate the ship of SUG despite pressures to bring back the Transport Trust Fund (TTF) up until second semester.

Before the resumption of second semester, I called my fellow executives for a meeting where I pleaded with them and convinced them to buy into my idea of reducing the price of food from N200 to N150 inside the university campus. They all accepted and agreed to it, the food vendors were called and most of them accepted but due to the imminent first semester examinations, we weren’t able to begin implementation.

At the eve of second semester, I brought to the notice of the students our decision to bring down food price from N200 to N150, which they all loved, accepted and supported since it had been a cry in their hearts and it began working as most food vendors complied. But this policy was greeted by a strong university management resistance. The Vice-Chancellor called me expressing his dissatisfaction with it and asked me to make things right. I felt so sad but I had to obey my superior. So I rested my case, very much against my wish but my students felt that their rights, expressions and feelings were being trampled on. Even if it meant that the rent collected by the Commercial Ventures of the university from the food vendors be reduced, let it be, but let the interest of the general students be heard and protected.

Since the university management did not want the policy to see the light of the day, I felt so sad and decided to rest my case, but at the same time, my students still felt cheated. Despite the management’s high-handedness on them through increment of fees, institution of new fees, intimidation by university security agents etc, the management still wanted to extort money from them through the food prize. With the new implementation of dues by the management and other increments, the students began asking me questions relating to monies which they were asked to pay which was new in the system, increment in some fees and so on and this led me to write an 8-point letter to the Vice Chancellor asking him questions which my fellow students have been asking me. Please sir, find attached an exact copy of the letter I sent to the Vice Chancellor. (Attachment 1)

It may also please you to find out that there are still other issues which I did not point out in the letter which includes:

Increment in the General Studies (GS) fee of Year one students from N1,000 to N4,000
Increment in the Continuous Education Programme (CEP) school fees from N35,000 to N39, 800,
Payment of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) dues of N2,500 and yet there is no clinic, how much more obtaining free medical treatment; amongst many others which may still be hidden to me.

After I gave him the letter confidentially on the 4th of May, he called the management staff of the university, entire executives of the Students’ Union Government, the Speaker, Students’ Representative Council and the Chief Judge of the Students’ Judicial Council to a meeting where he countered the entire letter point by point.  In the meeting which held on the 8th of May, my phone was seized from me and I was almost slapped and intimidated by words spoken by the management staff present in the meeting. I still felt unsatisfied with the response he gave us and unfortunately the letter got to other fellow students. While the whole situation grew tense, the Students’ Union Government bus under my care was seized from me, my friends were arrested and threatened and I too was threatened by the Personal Assistant to the Vice Chancellor. Please find attached a copy of this letter (Attachment 2). It is also important to note that the University management never gave me money for the maintenance of the SUG bus, though I have written to them on countless occasions, rather my parents had always provided me with the money with which I have continuously repaired and maintained it.

Meanwhile, instead of addressing the issue, the Vice-Chancellor instigated my fellow executives to sign a vote of no confidence against me where they accused me of a 5-count charge. It is also attached here sir (Attachment 3) and after the impeachment, I responded to the charges and sent them to the Vice Chancellor of which I am yet to get a reply to (Attachment 4). The response is also attached. My fellow executives also sued me to the Students’ Union Government Court on a three-count charge, based on why I brought down the transport fare from N30 to N20, why I removed the illegal and unconstitutional Transport Trust Fund (TTF) and why I reduced the price of food within the university which was all student-oriented.

While the whole situation was growing tense, I thought the Vice-Chancellor would have managed the situation well despite media reports, rather he mandated that I be removed quickly from office. Please sir, newspaper reports from this issue are also attached here (Attachment 5). The only condition he gave me to remain in office was to recant all I said in the letter by calling a press conference which I will address. I was suspended from being the Students’ Union Government President of the university on the 18 May, on a Monday, which was not the normal day the Students’ Representative Council was to sit. The suspension was unconstitutional and also on the 22 May, I was impeached. This was made possible by the Students’ Representative Council members who had strongly been influenced and bought over by the Vice Chancellor through their Heads of Departments, hence, they ensured I was impeached and more because they were threatened that disobedience would result to problems in their different courses. It will also please you, sir to note that the suspension as the Students’ Union Government President was done by the veto power of the Speaker as majority of the quorum of the House seated on that day were against it.

After my impeachment, students were really sad and feeling that their rights had been trampled on, peacefully protested. On the 3rd of June, a peaceful protest was conducted of which I was also part of. After the protest, I kept on attending lectures regularly and on Monday, 8 June, a court order was served to the Vice President and Speaker by the Anambra State High Court against my suspension as SUG President and impeachment. On the 11th of June, on entering the university, I was arrested in the university by a personal security aide to the Vice Chancellor. I was intimidated and from the Administration Block of the university, I was dragged into the security van of the university and taken to the State Security Service Headquarters of Anambra State located at Amawbia. There and then, the Director showed me my suspension letter and I was asked to pack my things immediately and leave the university and also that I should not be seen in the university until further notice. I was also asked to sign an undertaking to this which I did. I kept on asking for a copy of my suspension letter but no one gave it to me. Accompanied by security agents of the university, I packed my things and left.

It will also please you to note sir, that on the morning of 11th, a circular had already been shared to all the security agents in the university that I should not be seen in the university as I had been suspended. It was given to them by the Chief Security Officer of the University. All this happened even with an order of the Anambra State High Court which I had with me. Please find attached the statements of the court order (Attachment 6) and the Chief Security Officer’s circular (Attachment 7).

All through my stay as the Students’ Union Government President from December up until May, it had been a selfless service. The only amount of money I had ever received from our SUG account which should be autonomous was N70,000 which served as my take-off grant. It came weeks after we had written a letter to that effect and ever since then I have never received any of my entitlements as the SUG President. Even a transport route in the university which the SUG ought to be in charge of as an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the welfare of the students was high jacked by a personal security aide to the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Anayo Anizoba and when I brought up the issue, the wife of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Gladys Ahaneku called me and asked me to take 40% of the money and leave the remaining 60% to the security aide which I disagreed to.

Finally, in a country where people’s rights are being trampled upon, I still believe that justice must be upheld. I’m a very young, patriotic Nigerian citizen of this great country who decided to serve my country in the capacity of Students’ Union Government Presidency of my university, and all through my service in office, I have fought selflessly for the rights and privileges of my students. I don’t deserve to be kicked out of the university considering the fact that I have not been involved in any illegal practices or misconduct. All I have done was for the best interest of the students and for the good of my country. I sincerely and desperately appeal to you as a father to look with pity upon me and consider my case as I have no one else to run to. Thank you very much sir for your time, understanding and resolution to intervene on my behalf. God bless you.

 

Comrade Noble Eyisi

Department of Political Science

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Opinion

 

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