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Student expelled by UNILORIN denies allegation of examination malpractice

A final year student of the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, at the University of Ilorin, Alada Babatunde has been expelled by the authorities of the school for alleged examination misconduct.

According to the expulsion letter signed by the Registrar, Modupe Olowoleni, on July 12, 2018, and obtained by CAMPUS REPORTER, Mr Babatunde was expelled after the Students Disciplinary Committee found him guilty of examination misconduct.

The university said the student was caught with a Blackberry cell phone containing materials relevant to the examination written on July 24 during the rain semester of 2016/2017 academic session, an allegation which the students denied.

Mr. Babatunde who spoke with CAMPUS REPORTER said he responded to the allegation through a letter to the Students’ Disciplinary Committee denying that he did exhibit any act of misconduct during the examination.

In his letter titled statement of occurrence sent to the panel in February and obtained by CAMPUS REPORTER, Mr Babatunde claimed that the cell phone obtained by the invigilator was not with him during the examination.

He said: “It is worthy to note that the phone was switched off while charging and kept in a place very far from my reach (at the window side with the view not to be stolen) when the invigilator saw it and took it while the exam was going on.

“As I look forward to your compassionate consideration on the regrettable mistake of keeping the switched off phone close to the examination hall, I also tender my apology that it was not intended for any form of examination malpractice or misconduct.”

Following his dismissal from the University a year after the allegation, the student noted that no real proceeding was followed during his appearance at the panel as the invigilator was not called to testify against him during the disciplinary committee sittings.

“The witness, the testimony of my accuser (invigilator) was not gathered against me nor my phone or alleged materials viewed in my presence to guarantee fair hearing despite the demand of the chairperson of the SDC, Professor N. Y. S. Ijaiya to see the invigilator to ensure a fair hearing and just conclusion,” he complained.

Mr. Babatunde said in his appeal that chief invigilator during the examination was not informed of any examination misconduct in accordance with the university guideline.

“I was surprised that the SDC could have drawn some recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor in a case where no real proceeding was ever conducted.”

He, however, appealed to the authority to save his academic endeavour.

While some students present during the examination and a university official who spoke with CAMPUS REPORTER said Mr. Babatunde is suffering for “honest human error,” others blamed him for bringing telephone close to the examination hall.

One of the students who simply identified herself as Rukayat said: “we are all surprised to hear that Alada Aliyu Babatunde is expelled. I was present in the class the day he was alleged. The phone was very far away from any student and the invigilator never questioned him. To hear that he is being punished speaks volume of the system.

“I’m sure if some of us are called to give an account of what transpired, he won’t have been expelled.”

An official of the university who pleaded anonymity said: “if due process is followed, the student should not be expelled. He made mistake but since he was not caught cheating, a lesser punishment should have been awarded. But you know we are in the system, we can question authority.”

Another student said: “the silly mistake he made was that the phone was seen. If the phone was not close to the hall, nobody would have alleged him. His case should serve as a lesson to others. On the side of the management, witnesses should have been invited.”

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Sulyman Abdulkareem, while responding to CAMPUS REPORTER enquiry through a text message said the university followed all necessary process before the student was dismissed.

“What you heard is not true. We have a very good system that victimizes no one,” his text read.

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