The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun State chapter and the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) have accused the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro (FPI), Dr. Olusegun Aluko of orchestrating the arrest of the Student Union Government (SUG) President, Comrade Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji of the institution for alleged cultism.
The students umbrella bodies in a press conference, jointly addressed by the National President of NAOSS, Oluwagbemileke Ogunrombi and NANS Chairman, Bamgbose Tomiwa Peters in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, demanded the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Olatunji back to the Polytechnic.
They also accused the rector of colluding with the Ogun state police command to victimise Olatunji for challenging the management of the institution for financial misappropriation.
Olatunji who was arrested on February 9, along side Olarenwaju Taiwo, for alleged cultism, was subsequently arraigned before the court.
He had since regained his freedom having secured bail, but the trial is in progress, it was learnt.
The embattled SUG president attempted to commit suicide at the weekend following his predicaments.
But the students bodies lamented the unlawful suspension of Olatunji from the institution without any investigation or facing any panel.
They questioned the visit of the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, twice to the Rector of the Polytechnic few weeks before the arrest of Olatunji and called for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Olatunji back to the Polytechnic.
The student bodies insisted that, they were not fighting against the cultism charges Olatunji “but we are challenging his unlawful suspension from the institution and his sack as the SUG president by the management of the Polytechnic without any investigation.”
“From our investigations, the arrest of Olatunji was orchestrated by the Rector of the institution for challenging the financial mismanagement and misappropriation and for also fighting the anti-students policies of the institution.
“Olatunji was arrested by men of the state police command and unlawfully detained and tortured for eight days. No investigation was conducted before he was paraded before journalists as a common criminal. During his parade, he vehemently denied the allegation and insisted that he was tortured to admit that he was a cultist.
“Having followed with keen interests events as they unfold as regards the drama surrounding the arrest of the Students’ Union President, most especially as it relates to the allegation of cultism levied against him by the Nigerian Police Force, Ogun state command, we made bold to say that his arrest and detention was orchestrated by the Rector.
“We have been able to established that the cultism allegation trial was an attempt by the Rector and some management staff of the institution to frame up our colleague in the struggle, when all attempts to cowed him (Olatunji) from rising some fundamental questions as regards the management of the institution’s resources were not addressed and this is evident in the quick manner in which the management of the institution suspended him without giving him the opportunity to defend himself in line with principle of fair hearing as guaranteed and enshrined under Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“We hereby call for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of our colleague pending the outcome of the on-going investigation by the Ogun state command of the Nigeria Police Force. As his suspension is psychologically affecting him of which was equally responsible for the attempt by him to commit suicide some days back.
“Failure to reinstate him shall be met with full resistance by the leadership of all students union in Ogun state because we cannot allow our institutions management to be intimidating and victimising us because we ask for accountability of resources accruing to our in institutions covers”, the students said.
But in a swift reaction, the command’s spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi said, the students were not being reasonable, saying “he (Olatunji) was arrested for cultism. Is it the police that took him to bush where he was being initiated into cultism, is it the police that wore him cult regalia?
“They should allow the court to run its full investigation and stop making unnecessary allegations”, Oyeyemi said.