OAU Students’ Union officials in bloody fight over N3.8 million

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Obafemi Awolowo University
Obafemi Awolowo University

The Obafemi Awolowo University Students' Union Vice President, Jacob Tosin, popularly called Emerald, and the Director of Socials, Adedayo Afolabi, also known as Lamba, engaged in fisticuff on Tuesday, at an executive meeting that held at the office of the President of the Union, Oyekan Ibukun.

Investigation revealed that the fight is connected to the N3.8 million Students' Union backlog of funds released by the university management on August 31.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the students council had resolved to embark on some projects with the funds which include; refurbishment of union library, construction of SUB (student union building) relaxation centre, and construction of a staircase around Alumni-Archi axis.

Emerald had expressed displeasure over the decision. 

The Welfare Director of the Union, Ajiboye Adekanmi, who spoke with our reporter, said the executive ignored her proposal on how the funds should be deployed.

"The Vice President was not pleased with the decision because we denied her the funds for 'fresher's package.' We told her to wait for the disbursement of of 2016/17 session, but she left."

"While she proceeded to the door to exit the meeting, Lamba (Mr. Afolabi) engaged her but she raised alarm of harassment. Emerald attacked Lamba first before he retaliated. Later, she opened the fridge of the president but could not find any bottle except a malt bottle on the shelf which she broke to attack Lamba. When both parties engaged in another round of physical combat, Lamba headbutted the Vice President, Emerald. They both sustained injuries and were taken to the university health centre," Mr Adekanmi said.

The Financial Secretary of the Union, Omisakin Kehinde, also shared her version of the incident.

"We got a backlog from the management and we all discussed on what to do with the money. Emerald raised the issue of fresher's package which was discarded since she already has N1.4 million in her proposed budget. She got vexed. While trying to leave, Lamba blocked her but she slapped Lamba. Both engaged themselves physically before we could separate them."

"Emerald searched the fridge, later got a bottle on the shelf, broke it and charged at Lamba while Lamba also headbutted her," Omisakin said.

The Secretary General of the Union, Boluwajaiye Adeoluwa, while speaking in a public group said the matter "was not a big issue."

He said the two grown up individuals were unable to control their anger and it escalated.

However, the Public Relations Officer of union, Okediji Simon, and the President, Mr. Ibukun, declined comments on the confrontation.

Lamba, in a telephone conversation, told our reporter that he only "prevented the VP from going out which led to the saga."

"When we could not meet her demand, she 'vexed' but I held her back jokingly. She slapped me times without number, broke a bottle and I headbutted her which was self defence," Lamba argued.

At the university health centre where both were rushed to, it was learnt that Emerald had been transferred to Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife, due to the ongoing doctors' strike.

All efforts to speak with Emerald proved abortive as she was seen receiving a drip and had a swollen face at the time our reporter got to the hospital.

One of her friends who spoke under the condition of anonymity said the "VP was mercilessly rough-handled by the Director of Socials."

The university's Acting Chief Security Officer, O. Babatunde, said the Vice Chancellor of the institution had ordered the security unit to investigate the incident and file a comprehensive report to his office.

"The Vice Chancellor is already aware of the matter, he has placed (a call) to me that we should investigate and file a comprehensive report before today the end of Today. Fighting is becoming too rampant and we are getting irritated with the officers' behaviour."

He added that the management does not want to regret its decision to reinstate the students' union. 

The union was only reinstated recently after a period of ban placed on it. 

A member of the Sudents' Union Parliament, Ayuba Quadri, described the incident as "embarrassing."

"It's quite sad and embarrassing that, it isn't only some 'ridiculous adults' that have brought the country into the present degeneracy, but it suffices also to acknowledge the retrogressive roles played by youths in this downfall we as a nation are in today," he said.

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