[Interview]– THE PAGE had reported that a University of Ibadan alumnus, Mr. Kayode Bello popularly called ‘Kay Bello’ was expelled from the Nigerian Law School few days to Bar Finals Examination. After the report, different opinions have surfaced about the character of the expelled student and about the true circumstances surrounding his expulsion. In this e-mail interview with Oredola Ibrahim, he reveals the story behind his expulsion and exposed the poor learning environment in the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
Can you give us an account of what happened to you at the Law school in relation to the alleged situation that you wrote a petition against the DG and that you were inciting students against the management in quest for better learning environment?
Thank you for this opportunity to air what had happened. It is true that part of what I protested against were the welfare of students, but it all started with the issue of chairs, and the reservation of chairs. what led to my expulsion according to the authorities of the Nigerian law school were the fact that I challenged the authorities of the Nigerian law school on the facilities, especially having paid over 300,000 naira to the coffers of the Nigerian government via the Treasury Single Account. A student reserved a seat for friend due to inadequate seats in the hall of residence. I was in the seat, but I was chased out of the seat by one Mr. Akinyemi of the control room. I was also queried, then the whole students got to know what was going on. I petitioned Max Elizabeth Uba, the secretary to council of legal education of the matter, but up till this moment no response.
Don’t you think what is happening to you now is a leftover of the battle you fought against principalities and power back when you were in the University of Ibadan?
My dean, Prof. Oluyemis Bamgbose wrote a negative report against me to the Nigerian law school, one of the reasons was because they said I participated in a protest.
Can you briefly describe the learning environment in the Nigerian Law School?
Very poor. We fetch water, we are over 1800. People experience food poisoning. Study materials are duplicated, marshals threaten us. Lecturers threaten us that we must be fit and proper even where facilities are down.
We also gathered that you printed fliers and distributed them to students for protest, is this true?
No, I didn’t.
We also learnt that the Students Representatives Council of the Abuja Campus of NLS wrote a letter to the management to disclaim your activties, how did you feel about that, betrayed?
The Student Representatives Council chairman, Mr Aniete and his excos betrayed me, but their actions were later condemned, I challenge the SRC to make public the minutes where the SRC excos were condemned for going against me.
We heard that you boycotted a summary trial by the management? Why?
They said there would be, but I said nemo judex in causa sua (they can’t be a judge in their own case) especially that they failed to respond to my petition against Mr. Akinyemi. Mr Osamolu, head of academic affairs also threatened me, and ordered my eviction from the hostel without any panel or committee. I also petitioned the Public Complaints Commission but the Nigerian law school never replied as I learnt.
Is it true you never showed up or failed to show up at the trial?
As I said, they have trampled upon my fundamental rights, and a cockroach can’t have mercy in a panel of fowls.
Some people are of the opinion that you are fighting a lost battle and that you have no good cause? Others are of the opinion that you could have waited till after you are already called to bar, what do you have to say about that? And would you want Nigerian students to support your cause in this fight against injustice?
There is no any other time to fight against injustice than the time it occurs, time waits for no one.
It was gathered that you didn’t inform the school management on the challenges you were facing before going to your lawyer? What can you say about this?
They are aware, students tell them even in open space but they keep telling us that that is how it has always been, else they would expel us or not call us to the Nigerian bar.
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