The 13 students who were, last week, remanded in prison for protesting against the management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), have regained freedom.
The students were protesting the recent rustication of a visually impaired student, Lawrence Success, as well as those earlier suspended for the roles they played in a protest that led to the closure of the institution last year for three weeks.
It was gathered, however, that all charges against the students were struck out on Thursday, and all 13 of them released.
Counsel to the students, Inibihehe Effiong, said their detention was unlawful. He said his defence was guided by the provisions of Section 211 of the 1999 constitution.
He said: “The trumped up charges have been struck out and we salute the Lagos State Government for this.”
Also speaking on behalf of the students, the National Coordinator of Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Mr Hassan Taiwo Soweto, said the struggle was far from over.
“We are in talks with our lawyer. We intend to take action against the university, as well as the police for the unlawful arrest and detention. This is just the first step. In the next few days, we are going to roll out the plans for the action that would be taken to reinstate the victimised students at the university of Lagos, as well as the restoration of the Union. So the struggle has not yet been won; this is just the first round.”
The students, had been in prison custody since Saturday. The University of Lagos, had on Tuesday, reacted to the development by stressing that the affected students had earlier been rusticated, and were therefore not “bona fide students of the institution”.
“The Information Unit, University of Lagos, hereby states that the 13 students remanded by the court as reported by different newspaper tabloids and electronic publications to be UNILAG students are not students of the Institution. These “students” comprise of rusticated students and some students from an institution in Ogun State.
“Let us emphasise here that the rusticated students are requested to apply for re-admission after serving their punishment. Until re-absorption, they are not considered bonafide students of the University,” a statement signed by the university spokesman, Mr Toyin Adebule, had said.