ERC APPEAL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF FALSE CHARGES AGAINST YUSUF NURUDEEN ALOWONLE AND HALT TO ALL POLITICALLY-MOTIVATE VICTIMISATION OF STUDENTS AND WORKERS ACTIVISTS
ERC’s letter to LASU VC on planned victimization of Omomeewa
By Hassan Taiwo and Ibukun Omole, ERC National Coordinator and Secretary
We respectfully write to call your attention to the false allegation against Yusuf Nurudeen Alowonle a.k.a Omomewa, a graduating student with matric number 150143044 and a CGPA of 4.30. He was also a presidential candidate in the 2018/2019 LASUSU election, a well-known student activist on campus and a key officer of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) Lagos State University (LASU) branch. Yusuf Nurudeen was falsely alleged of Admission Racketeering and Unlawful possession of University documents by the Department of State Security (DSS), LASU Marshals and the Students Investigation and Enforcement Unit (SIEU).
On the 28th of October 2019, Yusuf Nurudeen Alowonle was framed up by one Mr. Moses Michael ICT (a staff of LASU ICT Unit) and Mr. Aneyo Tosin a.k.a Young Prof (a graduate of LASU and an ex-staff of LASU external system) who planted on him 13 printed stream 1 admission screening report of admitted candidates in a sealed envelope upon which the Department of State Security officials and LASU Students Investigation and Enforcement Unit officials alleged him of admission racketeering and unlawful possession of university documents.
Comrade Yusuf had on the 21st of October, 2019 assisted Mr. Moses Michael (a LASU ICT staff) an individual whom he has not physically met to collect in trust a sum of N160,000 from Mr Aneyo Tosin (young Prof.), a sum which he delivered to Mr. Moses the same day. He then requested to physically meet with Mr. Moses Michael in his office. It was this request that made Comrade Yusuf to head for his office on the 28th of October, 2019 at LASU ICT before he was asked by Mr. Moses Michael to receive a document from same Aneyo Tosin (young Prof.) and to bring the document to his office at LASU ICT to avoid delay of Mr Aneyo Tosin (young Prof.) pending his arrival. When he got to the ICT he asked one of the security men to show him Mr. Moses Michael office and the response they gave was that they didn’t know anybody by that name at LASU ICT.
He immediately phoned Mr. Moses who told him he would come outside to meet him and he asked of the colour of the cloth Comrade Yusuf wore to allow him identify him easily. But to Yusuf’s surprise not too long after he hanged up his call with Mr. Moses, some DSS officials who were accompanied by the school Marshal came and requested to search his bag and they were interested in what was in the brown sealed envelope that was given to him by Mr. Aneyo Tosin (young Prof.) out of all items in his bag. He was questioned on why he was having a sealed envelope in his bag. Yusuf explained to them that the envelope was for Mr Moses who asked him to collect it from Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.). They waited for Mr Moses to come while Comrade Yusuf was not allowed to make a phone call to Mr. Moses who did not show up. Then he was taken to Students Investigation and Enforcement Unit where they unsealed the envelope and found 13 stream 1 admission screening reports. Following the discovery of what was in the envelope, he was alleged of admission racketeering.
Comrade Yusuf Nurudeen Alowonle proved his innocence before LASU SIEU by giving the names and phone numbers of those men who worked together to frame him up to the LASU SIEU and and DSS officials for easy tracking and further investigation. But since then the DSS and LASU SIEU have been silent about the case, no steps were taken to track and investigate Mr. Moses and Mr Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) and to even establish their allegations against Comrade Yusuf. We frown at the failure of the DSS and LASU SIEU officials to track Mr. Moses and Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) despite an appeal letter written to the LASU Chief Security Officer (CSO) by Comrade Yusuf to appeal for open and democratic enquiry on the matter since 28th of October, 2019 (about four months ago).
The reluctance of LASU SIEU and DSS towards the case and their failure to conduct a fair, transparent and thorough investigation is convincing enough to tell us that DSS and LASU SIEU officials cannot be trusted and are involved or helping Mr. Moses and Mr Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) to set up Comrade Yusuf. On the 20th of January Comrade Yusuf coincidentally met Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) at the security unit reception without being reprimanded by the security agents until he challenged him.
This further lends credence to the suspicion that LASU security unit is also in alliance with these men. On Wednesday 22nd of January 2020 Comrade Yusuf was first invited to face the Students Disciplinary Committee (SDC), the meeting was later postponed till further notice on the day the meeting was set to hold. But the meeting was reconvened on the 29th of January, 2019 a week later. At the meeting, Comrade Yusuf was denied right to legal counsel before the SDC and the SDC adjourned till further notice after hearing. The LASU SIEU was asked to invite Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) and Mr. Moses Michael to the next SDC meeting for interrogation.
We as an organization, Education Rights Campaign, ERC, frown at the frame up and false allegations levelled against our Comrade on admission racketeering and unlawful possession of university documents and we urge the university to drop the false charges against him. Comrade Yusuf is not involved in any admission racketeering and can never get involved because it is one of what he stands against as a person and as a member of our organization, and was not in possession of any university documents.
We would like to explain that the printed admission screening report our Comrade was alleged to be in possession of are not in any way classified university documents that can only be found in the possession of University officials, they are printed report of individuals who had been given admission before Comrade Yusuf even met Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) and Mr. Moses who conspired to plant on him the sealed envelope on the 21st of October, 2019.
In our opinion, being in possession of just the screening report is not enough to convincingly prove that Comrade Yusuf Omomeewa is guilty of the allegations. Since Comrade Yusuf was alleged, the security unit has not come out with any solid report that will counter his claim of innocence. In fact, Comrade Yusuf has been able to get his call records with Mr. Moses and Mr Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) from his network provider to establish the date and timing of his calls with those who framed him up.
Therefore, we would like to demand that:
- There should be an independent public panel of inquiry that will investigate the matter transparently that shall include representatives of the students, staff and human rights organizations. The LASU SIEU and the Department of State Security officials should also be interrogated so as to get to the bottom of the case. They must also produce Mr. Aneyo Tosin (Young Prof.) and Mr. Moses for questioning or interrogation.
- LASU Marshal should stop the harassment and witch hunting of students activists on campus.
- Drop all false charges against Omomewa and allow him graduate without victimization.
- Recall all staff union members who were unjustly sacked e.g. 5 leaders of ASUU LASU who are being victimized for challenging management anti-worker policies. We demand their immediate and unconditional recall to their duty posts
- Reversal of the undemocratic dress code law and the hike in fees for stream 2 admitted 100 level students. Respect of the democratic rights of students and staff.
- Respect the right to independent unionism. Stop interference in ASUU LASU and other unions
- Reversal of all anti-student and anti-worker policies.
- Improved funding and democratic running of LASU with involvement of elected representatives of students and staff unions in decision making organs
We believe that your immediate intervention to our request to correct the failings in this investigation will be a great honour to academic freedom.