The University of Ibadan (UNILORIN) excluded graduates with less than first class degrees from its convocation hall on Monday, drawing flak from graduates who feel slighted by the management’s decision.
On Monday, Nigeria’s premier university held its Convocation and Award Ceremony for the First Degrees at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, with only the first class graduates allowed in.
The action follows a similar decision of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) which also banned lower grade students from its 36th convocation grand finale in October.
UI had earlier announced that only first class graduands and their parents would be allowed into the Convocation Hall.
However, some of the graduands with lower grades were seen in the university’s academic regalia taking pictures with their friends and families.
Decrying the development, some graduands said that they felt cheated out of a very important milestone in their lives, describing the university’s action as “discriminatory and damning”.
One of the graduating students from the Faculty of Social Science, who simply gave his name as Bayo, said that he felt demoralised.
“The university asked us to pay all convocation fees, but told us at the same time that we are not good enough to attend our own convocation ceremony.
“I bagged a Second Class Upper after spending close to seven years on school for a four-year degree; so you can’t tell me I didn’t earn the right to be in the hall with other coursemates and friends.
“What message are they trying to pass across, that we are not good enough?
“I am grateful that my parents are not condemning me in spite of this,” he said.
Another of the graduands seen lurking around the convocation grounds, Yemi of the Faculty of Arts, said that the university was only trying to create unhealthy rivalry among the graduands.
Also commenting, Jeremiah Bunmi, a graduate of the Department of Psychology, said that the university did what it thought was best in order to keep the graduating students and their families safe.
“I am excited to be one of the graduands of this reputable institution.
“I think they did what they thought was best for everyone, especially pertaining to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Bunmi said.
The university had earlier announced that it would restrict the weeklong 2021 Convocation and 73rd Foundation Day ceremonies due to the risk posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
It said that inviting over seven thousand graduates and parents, guardians with their well-wishers into the venue would amount to flouting the rules and protocols of the federal government of Nigeria governing COVID-19.
The university had invited only first class graduands and awardees to the ceremonies.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kayode Adebowale, said that a total of 8,474 candidates would be awarded for various Degrees and Diplomas.
Mr Adebowale said that the university was ranked number one in Nigeria and West Africa, seventh in Africa and top 500 globally in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, 2021.
“After the university contended with industrial action, there came further disruption in our academic calendar as a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, which led to the closure of our great institution.
“In view of the problem posed by the pandemic, we opted for the alternative visual-classroom learning after the last convocation ceremony.
“It is cheering that despite the news of the third wave of the pandemic, the university has successfully completed another session and our final year students for the 2018/2019 session have successfully completed their academic programmes.
“Some are participating physically, while most are joining virtually.
The vice-chancellor said a breakdown of the list shows that approximately 3.1 per cent and 25. 5 per cent of the students finished with First Class and Second Class Upper Divisions Honours respectively.
“These outcomes are noteworthy, showing a lot of more significant improvements in the academic performance of our graduating students,” he said.
Spain-based man excretes 96 pellets of cocaine in Abuja: NDLEA
A 44-year-old man, Gabriel Anthony, egested 96 pellets of cocaine after he was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi says.
The suspect, who was arrested during an outward clearance of Turkish Airlines en route Abuja-Istanbul-Madrid, excreted the drug pellets while in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Babafemi said.
The spokesman noted that Mr Anthony, who hails from Enugu State, was arrested on Friday, November 26.
According to him, the suspect had travelled to Germany in 1996 for two years on asylum after which he relocated to Spain in 1999.
“Spain is where he currently holds a residence permit and works as a driver in a food manufacturing company.
“He claimed he came into Nigeria on November 17 to sell clothes and car spare parts he shipped to Lagos earlier.
“He, however, said he could not sell his consignments which cost him €4,000 excluding the cost of shipment because they were priced below the cost price at Ladipo market in Lagos.
“He needed to travel back to Spain to resume work after the expiration of his annual leave,” he said.
Mr Babafemi added that the suspect confessed to having accepted the offer to traffic the drug for which he would be paid €1,500 when he successfully delivers the consignment to someone in Spain.
Mr Babafemi said the suspect claimed he left Lagos for Enugu to see his family members and then travelled on November 25 to Onitsha in Anambra.
“He was picked up from Upper Iweka park at night and taken to a house where he was given the 96 pellets of cocaine.
“Thereby ingesting before leaving for Abuja to board his flight to Madrid the following day,” he added.
Police sergeant nabbed after shooting driver to death in Osogbo
A police sergeant suspected of shooting to death a driver at Kobogbogboe-Ota-efun Area of Osogbo on Friday has been arrested.
“The Osun police command has arrested and detained the police officer, Sergeant Moses Samuel, who shot at one Mallam Kabiru Babai, 33, on Friday, December 3, around Kobogbogboe-Ota-efun Area, Osogbo.
“Investigation and disciplinary actions have commenced and the suspect will be arraigned in court after completion of the ‘Orderly Room’ trial.
“This we hope will serve as a deterrent to other officers of his like.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, is using this medium to express his condolence to the victim’s family, colleagues at work and friends.
“Olokode also prayed to God to put an end to this kind of unfortunate incident.
“He also assures members of the public that justice will be served.” the command’s spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Septuagenarian, AUN, UNIMAID undergraduates, others arrested in NDLEA week-long drug bust
A 72-year-old man and five undergraduate students are among the suspects arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a week-long operation to seize hard drugs and arrest offenders.
The raids, which was carried out across nine states and at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, yielded 5,721.92 kilogrammes of Indian hemp and other drugs.
The 72-year-old man, Emmanuel Akanbi, was arrested at Odofin Camp, Uso, Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State with 2,050 kilogrammes of Indian hemp.
The varsity students belong to the American University of Nigeria, (AUN) Yola, and the University of Maiduguri.
NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement issued on Sunday that one Okorie Onyeribe was arrested at the MMIA on December 3.
He was attempting to export 21.85 kilogrammes of Indian hemp concealed in foodstuffs to London.
Mr Babafemi stated that two students, Emmanuel Thlama and Jonah Joshua were arrested with 16.750 kilogrammes of Indian hemp on November 30 when NDLEA operatives raided a settlement opposite Gate Four of the University of Maiduguri.
He added that the three other students, Ekene Asher, Daniel Alkali and Emmanuel Smooth are undergraduates of AUN. They were arrested on December 2.
Mr Babafemi explained that their arrest followed their receipt of “Loud,” a very strong variant of Indian hemp, ordered by Mr Asher.
“Equally, ThankGod Danladi, who completed a jail term in October, was arrested on Wednesday, December 1 with 67 kilogrammes of Indian hemp in a raid in Taraba.
Also on December 2, NDLEA operatives intercepted a motorised concrete mixer truck used to conceal 2000.6 kilogrammes of Indian hemp loaded at Ogbese, Ondo State.
Two suspects arrested with the drugs, Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nborgwu, claimed they had spent one month on the road from Ondo State en-route Mubi, Adamawa before they were arrested at Girei also in Adamawa.
“In Oyo State, operatives intercepted 608.40 kilogrammes of Indian hemp concealed in a black Toyota Sequoia SUV parked at the toll gate area on Ibadan-Ife expressway on December 3.
“The following day, operatives equally seized 85.90 kilogrammes of Indian hemp from the boot of a Nissan Primera car in an apartment at Adegbayi area in Ibadan.
“Those arrested in connection with the seizure include Benson Uzoka, 46; Kafayat Uzoka, 40; Ndidi Uzoka, 39 and Christopher Uzoka, 42,” Mr Babafemi stated.
He added that one Praise Emmanuel and Aminu Aliyu were also arrested with 228 kilogrammes of Indian hemp in Kano.
Also in Taraba, operatives evacuated 364 kilogrammes of Indian hemp from farms in Changso Village, Kurmi Local Government Area, located on the mountains between Nigeria and Cameroon and set the farms on fire.
“In Niger State, operatives intercepted a commercial bus on Mokwa-Jebba Road laden with 215 kilogrammes of Indian hemp concealed in a false bottom case and side door of the bus.
“Two suspects, the driver and his conductor claimed they loaded the consignment at Ogere, Ogun State and were heading to Sokoto.
“In Delta, a lady, Tina Ujene, was arrested in Ibusa with 1.1 kilogrammes of Indian hemp. A follow-up raid on her supplier’s home led to the recovery of 54.7 kilogrammes of the same substance,” Mr Babafemi stated.
The NDLEA spokesperson said different quantities of Indian hemp, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, diazepam and Exol-5 were also seized in raids at different areas in Port Harcourt.
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