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Nine Months After Arrest By SSS, Accused Campus Journalist’s Results Yet To Be Released

Ayoola Babalola, a National Diploma graduate from Gateway Polytechnic in Ogun State, who was arrested by State Security Service (SSS), says his access to the school’s online portal is yet to be reinstated for his transcript and result. 

Mr Babalola said he has been unable to proceed with his Higher National Diploma ( HND) and Direct Entry since he graduated last year.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported when Mr Babalola was arrested early this year and charged to court on six counts for alleged incitement and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

He was accused by the Ogun State chapter of the State Security Service of participating in protests and inciting violence through Facebook posts, according to the charge sheet.

Mr Babalola’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said in a recorded phone call he received from an official of the secret police in December, which he shared with PREMIUM TIMES, the agency said it was inviting Mr Babalola to answer questions on the issues that had resulted in the resignation of a lecturer, O. A. Salami, from the institution.

Mrs Salami had inspected the school’s newspaper which was edited by Mr Ayoola. She reportedly resigned after she was allegedly demoted by the school, following a publication in the newspaper condemning Mr Sowore’s detention and requesting the investigation of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES about the refusal of the school management to release his results and transcript, Mr Babalola narrated he wrote his final examination last year and graduated with 3.16 CGPA. He said the result was pasted on the departmental board but surprisingly he can’t access it on the school portal. 

“On Friday, November 1st 2019, I participated alongside my graduating set at the Polytechnic’s 3rd convocation ceremony but quite surprisingly, the management of the institution has refused to release my results and transcripts. 

“My student portal has been suspended for reasons associated with my activities as a campus journalist as the PA to the rector keeps vowing that I will never collect my results from the school because I’m too confrontational,” he said. 

Mr Babalola told this newspaper, he has written letters to the school management twice but nothing has been done to reinstate his school portal. He also said he has been declared unwelcome by the school. 

“I have written letters more than two times and the letters have been treated with utmost disregard and not taken seriously because of the preconceived line of Action of the Rector, his Personal assistant and the CSO. 

“In response to my letter dated 8th of January, 2020, the CSO Mr Matthew Adeyinka declared me persona non grata on Campus and informed his security officers to deny me entry into the school premises saying that myself a campus journalist who is always going around with a smartphone and diary pad constitute security risks on the campus. 

“I have also written to the CSO to interpret to me correctly what it means to constitute a security risk and to state on what lawful basis was I tagged a security risk.  Various threats on how I will never have my results have been issued hence the reason for this public outcry as the result is essential to continuing my education,” he said.

School Management Reacts

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the school’s Dean of Students Affairs, Oladapo Solaru, he claimed the reason for the delay in releasing his result on the school portal is because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

He said the school will revisit the case as soon as they resume. 

“You know we are still on lockdown, probably that might be one of the reasons why his case has not been treated because we are still awaiting a government directive to open the school. When the school resumes we can revisit the case so we will know the next line of action,” he said. 

NUCJ React 

Samuel Ajala, the National Union of Campus Journalists, Publicity Secretary has demanded that the school management release Mr Babalola’s result so he can proceed with his education. 

Mr Samuel Ajala made this known in a statement signed by him on Monday. 

“NUCJ totally condemns the refusal of Gateway Polytechnic management to release the result and transcript of Ayoola Babalola despite writing several letters for his portal reinstatement. 

“Babalola who graduated last year from the institution has been unable to register for direct entry in order to proceed with his education. We hereby urge the school management to desist from playing politics and games and reinstate his portal immediately,” he added

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