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A’Ibom gov’t breaks silence on final year student expelled for insulting Gov Udom, VC

Following reports of the expulsion of a student, Iniobong Ekpo by the management of the Akwa Ibom State University, over gross misconduct and insuburdination, Governor Udom Emmanuel may have concluded plans to set up a committee to study the case and report back to him immediately.

The Governor, according to inside sources, was apparently unaware of the boy’s offence as well as the reported expulsion, since he had not previously received brief on the matter.

He is said to have directed that a five member committee to be headed by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, be set up to study the matter and get him briefed immediately.

“Governor Emmanuel who is renowned for always ignoring series of campaigns of calumny and media attacks against him, since assumption of office in 2015, only heard of this incident of attack against him by the said Iniobong on the media today”, a source told our reporter.

The student, Iniobong Ekpo, was in his final year at the Department of Agricultural Engineering when he was expelled for publishing a “derogatory and defamatory article” in 2019 on Facebook against the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

He was first suspended indefinitely from studies before his expulsion two months ago.

Mr Ekpo used a pseudonym, Afrosix Jaara, to write the article in which he called Governor Emmanuel a con artiste who engaged in scamming and deceiving students.

The university, in the expulsion letter, said Mr Ekpo’s article was a “breach” of the matriculation oath and a violation of the university rules and regulations enshrined in the Student Information Handbook.

According to the rules enshrined in the university handbook, on Page 85 (Article XV) the expelled student infringed on the cyber offences of the university, one of which reads, “unauthorized use of the University’s name, logo, anthem, etc in a manner that will bring the University to disrepute;

While another of the offences listed on Page 86 says, “posting insulting /abusive messages against lecturers, the university or any of its officers/agents, other staff or fellow students either in print or on social media. Penalty shall be rustication or expulsion based on the gravity of the offence.

Another code breached by the said Iniobong Ekpo, could be traceable to Page 85 of the handbook which says, “any student found guilty of any act of insuburdination towards constituted authority shall be rusticated from the university for a period of time or may be expelled.”

But Mr Ekpo, through a letter written to the university by his lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said the university authorities did not give him fair hearing.

He claimed he was never invited to appear before a disciplinary committee before his suspension.

Apart from challenging his expulsion, the student is demanding N20 million from the university as “general damages and gross breach of his fundamental rights.”

However it would not be the first time a student is found culpable by the university over cyber related offences.

The institution had suspended “indefinitely” a female student from the school for allegedly calling the university vice chancellor ‘foolish’ on Facebook.

The student, Joy Nkanang, was in her second year in the department of performing arts before her suspension on May 9, 2019.

She was however reabsorbed after showing sufficient remorse, a clear departure from Iniobong Ekpo, who despite breaching his matriculation oath, is still displaying arrogance and insuburdination.

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