•By Musbau Rasak
As you are reading this, the first Semester examinations of the students of the Lagos State University (LASU) have commenced. But for three final year Medical students of the school, they are not taking part in the examinations.
The affected students, thegazellenews.com can revealed, did not deliberately abandon their exams, rather their inability to take part in the examinations was due to their expulsion from campus by the authorities of the institution.
This, thegazellenews.com learnt, has put the future of these three medical students: Isaac Deinde Dipeolu with matriculation number 110711023; Jimoh Jamiu Babalola, 120711051; and Macaulay Damilola Emmanuel, 120711063; in serious jeopardy as they would not graduate with their colleagues unless the school authorities decide to temper justice with mercy!
Thegazellenews.com’s Investigation revealed that the trio’s ordeal started during their Pediatrics and Child Health postings in 2018.
As usual with the norm, they were given booklets to record their activities for the 16 week exercise. The booklets were signed by both their lecturers and resident doctors attached to them.
This medium learnt that after completing the four month exercise exercise, all students involved in the programme were expected to submit their booklets for grading and score by the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM).
Explaining further in a save-our-soul letter written and signed on their behalf by African for Human Rights International (AfriRights), thegazellenews.com learnt that the trio’s booklets were not graded because signature irregularities were discovered in the booklets.
According to the letter in possession of thegazellenews.com signed by Afolabi Gbajumo, President and Lead Activist of AfriRights, “the trio of Isaac, Jimoh and Macaulay remorsefully owned up to the discrepancies discovered in their booklets”.
The letter was addressed to the Governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa; and the Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution.
The letter was dated Monday, 10 June, 2019.
After the non-grading of their booklets, the first punishment meted out to the affected students was prevention from writing the vital Third Professional Examinations via a letter dated 27 July, 2018 by the school authorities.
This was done even without giving the students to defend themselves from the allegations of forgery leveled against them.
Thegazellenews.com learnt that after much persuasion, they were eventually allowed to write the examinations but as at the time of writing this report, their results have not been released by the university authorities.
Thegazellenews.com learnt further that the the LASUCOM authorities later invited the affected students to appear before an investigative panel they reluctantly set up to investigate the matter.
The students did appeared before the Committee on Wednesday, 17 October, 2018.
On that day, thegazellenews.com learnt that both Isaac and Jimoh confessed to signing their booklets on behalf of one of the Resident Doctors while Macaulay confessed that he gave himself a score for a presentation. While denying other allegations, the students begged for forgiveness.
Unknown to many, thegazellenews.com learnt that the students were coerced into making that confession based on the agreement that they would be allowed to write their Third Professional Examinations. Of course, they did write the examinations but up till now, the results have not been released.
After writing the Third Profesional Examinations which results have not been released up till now, the students were allowed to continue their normal academic activities.
Their case took a turn for the worst when they were not allowed to defend themselves before the overall Students’ Discuplinary Committee set up by the school which considered their case. The Committee only relying on the reports of The LASUCOM Committee.
The students’ world collapsed in June when they each received a letter expelling them from the school on allegation of forgery and not meeting 75% attendance.
The letter dated 17 June, 2019 was signed by ONI O.T., Principal Assistant Registrar, Students Affairs Division and Secretary, Students Disciplinary Committee.
The letter, copy of which is in possession of the gazellenews.com stated that the Senate of the University at its 254th Statutory Meeting which took place on Thursday, 30 May, 2019 upheld the recommendation of the Committee of Provosts, Deans and Directors that the students be expelled having found culpable in the allegations leveled against them.
Thegazellenews.com’s investigations revealed that the University’s decision might have been too harsh on students who were in the process of graduating and contributing to the development of the country.
A closer look at the decision raised more posers than answers: first, why allowed the students write the Third Professional Examination when the school knows it would not release the results?
Secondly, Why did the school prevented the affected students from appearing before the Students Disciplinary Committee to defend themselves especially with their claims that they were coerced into writing confessional statements? This, thegazellenews.com can revealed, is against the school handbook’s stipulation.
Thirdly, why would the Univeristy authorities delayed the announcement of their decision till June, 2019 few weeks before the final examinations commenced which was a full year after this matter cropped up?
Fourthly, why did school authorities expelled the students which was not the punishment stipulated in The LASUCOM Handbook for such offense even if they are guilty?
These are the posers for the stakeholders in the education sector to resolve which can save the careers of these young men.