Ms Jacob Grace, the suspended Vice President of students union of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has alleged that the Director of Socials, Afolabi Adedayo Emmanuel, battered her during an executive council meeting and she stabbed him in self defence.
Recall that on the night of September 5, the two students’ union exco members were seriously injured following a fight over the disbursement of N3.8 million given to them by the school’s management for projects within the institution.
During the meeting, the executives offered suggestions on projects that needed attention but a disagreement ensued as a result and Ms Jacob, allegedly stabbed Emmanuel on his arm and he, in turn, headbutted her, landing her in the hospital.
However, the 500level Law student, who is currently recuperating at a private hospital, disclosed that she was assaulted by Afolabi in the presence of other exco including the students union President, Oyekan Ibukun.
Narrating Jacob’s ordeal in a statement to The Education Report, her spokesperson, Onyeka Chukwudi, said the president and other exco watched while the director of socials manhandled her and her shout for help attracted some students around the students’ union building but they could not gain entrance because Ibukun ordered that the doors be locked.
Chukwudi disclosed that with the doors locked, the director of socials took advantage of the opportunity to hit her severally and that when the beating became unbearable, she picked an empty bottle, broke it in attempt to protect herself from the assault.
He queried why Grace who was still recuperating in the hospital would be suspended by the university management without waiting for security report noting that the Vice Chancellor only heard the narrative of what transpired from one side and the victim of the assault has not been given a hearing.
Chukwudi condemned the one-sided stories on campus and urged other students not to believe the statement that she stabbed the director of socials during her attempt to leave the meeting.
He explained that while Grace was in hospital, a false statement attributed to her admitting using broken bottle to stab the director of socials was circulated on campus, an ‘’attempt to paint the criminal act of Mr. Afolabi’s assault on the VP as a case of two fighting is like covering the face with one finger.’’
In a letter to the VC dated September 8, Grace said the indefinite suspension was based on one sided information to the VC that she was the aggressor and initiator of the violence of Tuesday, September 5.’’
“When I indicated my intention to leave, the president ordered the door be locked and discouraged any executive member from stopping the director of socials in his harassment of my person, as he said, it was a case of two people fighting.’’ she said.
“I was beaten, molested, taunted and that I only picked a bottle in self defence and that was only to scare my way out of the room after I was hit severally, was taunted by other executive members while people banging on the door outside were prevented from gaining entry to intervene in the situation.
“Meting out punishment before hearing the parties to a case is already a breach of the principle of fair hearing. It is inverted sense of justice. It is very unfair that despite being the victim in this case and while still unstable in the hospital, I am treated as an abuser.’’
The Dean, Division of Students Affairs, Prof Olalekan Aransi, told The Education Report that the university management has suspended the two students’ union exco members stating the decision was taken at a management meeting.
Prof Aransi however, denied that the university management rushed to a hasty decision while Grace, was still in hospital stating ‘’for a fair hearing, the university management has set up a panel. They are looking into the case and the outcome will be out soon and made public.’’