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Friday, December 8, 2023

OAU student accused of impersonation narrates ordeal in lecturer’s hand

A 200 Level student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Gift Mosobalaje, has narrated what ensued between him and a lecturer in the varsity, Dr. F.K. Ariyo.

Gift was said to have suddenly run into a lecture room where Ariyo was conducting a class on Wednesday.

Sources on the campus said that Gift mistook the class for the one he was to attend and upon realizing he was in the wrong class, he quickly made attempts to exit the class when the lecturer called him back.

One of the videos of the incident that circulated online showed Gift struggling with a man said to be a security official. Gift was also seen making an attempt to press his phone when the lecturer shouted at him, telling him not to call anybody, ordering him to switch off his phone.

“You can’t be more than me, even if you’re the VC’s son, I won’t take this from you. Switch off the phone,” the lecturer said in the video while Gift was heard saying, “What did I do?”

Afterwards, the man said to be the lecturer was seen struggling to take the phone from the student whose back was against the wall. Ariyo was subsequently seen throwing a punch at the student while other students in the class watched in amazement.

Unsatisfied with the discussion held on TVC Thursday about the fracas, Gift took to his X [formerly Twitter] account Your favorite dada boy @GiftMosobalaje to explain what transpired between him and the lecturer.

He posted: “I am the student that was assaulted, I was watching the show this morning and the story that was told wasn’t the accurate story. I tried calling in to clear the air but I couldn’t get through. What really happened was that I had an 8:00am class which was supposed to be held at that lecture theatre.

“On reaching the lecture theatre, I opened the door and stepped in and as soon as I realized that it wasn’t my class, as I didn’t see any familiar faces, I stepped out immediately. I was already on my way down the stairs when a student called me back and said the lecturer was calling me, I answered and entered the lecture room.

“The lecturer (Dr. F.K Ariyo) in his exact words asked, “why are you in my class and who are you impersonating?”, the students in the class laughed as he said this, me also thinking it was a joke and wondering how a 200L student would come to impersonate a 400L student laughed and replied “I’m not impersonating anyone sir, I just stepped into your class and realized it was the wrong class and I stepped out immediately.

“He said I was lying and insisted that I came to impersonate someone. He said he was going to arrest me and take me to the school Chief Security Officer (CSO). He then sent a student to call the security officer. While the student was at that, he asked ‘why do you have this type of hair?’ I replied saying ‘This is my natural hair’ and he said I was lying because men don’t come with this type of hair. I didn’t argue with him because it wasn’t the first time someone is saying it’s not my real hair.

“He asked for my ID card which I immediately gave him, at this time, the security was already there, he gave the security man my ID card and told him to take me away. I immediately tried to call my brother who is also a student or my mum to inform them about what was happening to me. The lecturer said I shouldn’t call anyone, he asked me to switch off the phone and hand it over. I told him, I couldn’t hand over my phone because I didn’t know my offence and I just wanted to know what I did wrong.

“The security man began to drag me by my trousers, I told him to leave me alone but he kept dragging me, Dr. Ariyo then took it up from the Security and tried to forcefully collect my phone. In the process, he strangled my neck to the wall, broke my phone screen, broke my right index finger, tore my trousers and after collecting the phone punched me in the back of my head, the security man then dragged me out by my trousers aggressively while I was screaming and asking, “what have I done?”, “why are you dragging me like a thief?”

“That was what actually happened on Wednesday. I’m not his student and I wasn’t impersonating anyone,” he emphasized.

One of Gift’s school mates at DAMICO College of Arts and Science, Ile-Ife in Osun State confirmed that Gift had been on dreadlock since childhood.

The Students’ Union Government spokesperson at OAU, Elijah Omisore, when contacted, condemned the incident, calling for the prosecution of the lecturer.

“We are investigating the matter. The lecturer is planning to apologize but we are not taking any apology. We want the necessary prosecution. We demand an open hearing and a public apology from Dr. Ariyo to the generality of Great Ife students. The lecturer and the entire Department should also make a commitment that the victim and other students in the class won’t face any form of victimization going forward,” Omisore said in a statement.

Also, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Abiodun Olarewaju condemned the action of the lecturer; disclosing that a probe into the matter had begun.

“We have seen the video and the Vice-Chancellor is not happy about it. We are not known for such behaviour and we have decided to go administrative on this matter. We will make our findings known,” he said while he urged the students to remain calm.

Christiana Alabi-Akande
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