The university’s students union under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has issued a protest warning fiat of 24-hour ultimatum within which a Special Offences Mobile Court in Lagos should forthright release 13 students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) currently being detained at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Kirikiri, Lagos State.
The genesis of the detained 13 students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), was that they were accused of unlawful trespass of Television Continental premises in Lagos State. Subsequently, the 13 University of Lagos (UNILAG) students were arraigned before a competent court of law on a two-count charge of unlawful invasion and disruption of activities and the students pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge as read to them before the court.
The arraigned accused persons, students involved in the unlawful invasion are Femi Adeyeye; Toni Aina; Kodri Yaya; Asimi Oladime; Ismahim Olalekan; Segun Okesola; Abdulazeez Soneye; Idris Abogunloko; Muyiwa Olaniyi; Toheed Oladimeji; Joseph Akanni; Lukumon Olusegun and Abiodun Agbeniyi.
After the mention of the matter, the honourable court adjourned the matter till 6th April 2017 for a determination of their bail.
Chinonso Obasi, President of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), today the 3rd April 2017 in the FCT, Abuja condemned the rational of the court at arriving at the conclusion that the students be remanded in custody in Kirikiri prisons. He further said as follows
“After a painstaking review of the circumstances surrounding the draconian ruling, we have resolved to demand and hereby demand the unconditional release of these students within 24 hours.
“Consequently, we make bold to state that if at the expiration of our 24 hours ultimatum, these innocent students are not released without strings, we shall relocate the Headquarters of NANS to Kirikiri in solidarity with our members.
“We also hope that the authorities would use the opportunity of the 24 hours ultimatum to either expand the facilities of Kirikiri prison or release our colleagues, as they can see we are serious and determined by offering them a fair choice.”
The Magistrate court could do in the prevailing circumstances was to clamp University students to a prison facility and thereby unwittingly radicalize them; NANS shall help him to understand the implications of his unbalanced judgment that does not tally with the offence allegedly committed.
That “Being first-time offenders, the Magistrate, if ever he was once a University student, would have handed down a stern warning and demand of good behaviour instead of sending them to prison for whatever reasons.
“In saner climes what the Magistrate should have done was to certify that the suspects are bonafide students and release them to their school authorities or student leaders. But rather than factor in the extenuating circumstances of their protest, the Magistrate apparently in a hurry to please some hidden forces, decided to blunt the proper socialisation of 13 Nigerian leaders of tomorrow.”
It was further gathered from the students that if the 13 students are not release within the 24-hours ultimatum; the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) will relocate its Headquarters to the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons in solidarity with its members, should government continued to keep them incarcerated.