A student of the University of Ilorin, Alada Babatunde, has appealed to the management of the institution for "compassionate consideration" after the "regrettable mistake" that led to his expulsion from the school.
The final year student of the Department of Vetinary Surgery and Radiology, Faculty of Vetinary Institution, was expelled for alleged examination misconduct.
Babatunde was accused by the university's Students' Disciplinary Committee (SDC) of being caught with a Blackberry phone containing materials relevant to the examination written on July 24 during the 2016/2017 academic session.
According to the letter of expulsion signed by the Registrar, Modupe Olowoleni, a soft copy of which was made available to SaharaReporters, Babatunde was expelled after the SDC found him guilty of examinations misconduct.
However, Babatunde denied the allegations, stating that he wasn't involved in examination malpractice. He added that he has responded to the allegation through a letter to the Students’ Disciplinary Committee to debunk the allegations.
In the letter written to the Students' Disciplinary Committee, he argued that the said phone was neither caught with him nor was he caught using the phone in the exam hall.
The letter read: "It is worthy to note that the phone was switched off while charging and kept in a place very far from my reach (at the window side, to avoid it being stolen) when the invigilator saw it and took it, while the exam was ongoing.
“As I look forward to your compassionate consideration on the regrettable mistake of keeping the switched off phone close to the examination hall, I also tender my apology that it was not intended for any form of examination malpractice or misconduct."
He lamented not being given fair hearing, noting that there was no proper proceeding during his appearance at the panel. He added that the invigilator who was said to have caught him was not called to testify against him during the disciplinary committee sittings.
“Neither was my phone or alleged materials viewed in my presence to guarantee fair hearing, despite the demand of the chairperson of the SDC, Professor N.Y.S. Ijaiya to see the invigilator, to ensure fair hearing and a just conclusion,” he added.
In his appeal, Babatunde said the chief invigilator during the examination was also not informed of any examination misconduct, in accordance with the university’s guidelines.
Some of the students who were present during the examination said Babatunde was just being victimised, as he was not caught using the phone and the said phone was even out of his reach.
One of the students, who simply identified herself as Rukayat, said: “We are all surprised to hear that Alada Aliyu Babatunde was expelled. I was present in the class on that day. The phone was very far away from any student and the invigilator never questioned him. To hear that he is being punished speaks volume of the system.
“I am sure if some of us were called to give account of what transpired, he would not have been expelled."
Responding to SaharaReporters' text message on the issue, Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, denied victimising the student.
"What you heard is not true. We have a very good system that victimises no one," the message read.