The management of Taraba State University has expelled a first year laboratory science undergraduate, Mr. Joseph Israel for allegedly criticising the state governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, on Facebook.
Available documents showed that the university’s management had summoned Israel before a malpractice committee which deals with issues of indiscipline and academic wrongdoings.
The student appeared before the committee on July 15, 2019 as instructed.
Israel said when the committee asked him about his criticism of the governor, he asked the committee if there was any law in the university stopping students from using the social media and expressing their views on governance in the state.
He was thereafter asked to go and wait until the investigation was concluded.
However, on Monday, October 30, Israel’s admission was withdrawn via a letter entitled ‘Withdrawal of Provisional Admission Offer’ which was signed by the university’s deputy registrar, Mr. David Fwa.
“Further take notice that the withdrawal of the said admission is hinged on your inability to complete the registration processes of Taraba State University, Jalingo, as approved by the relevant university regulation and which makes (you) a ghost student,” the letter stated.
However, Israel, who was admitted to study chemistry but later switched to laboratory science in the state-owned school, said in an interview that the reason given for his expulsion was false and was merely used as an excuse to deal with someone who had been a known online critic of the governor.
He denied boycotting the matriculation and said he signed the oath declaration form.
“The mistake I did was not snapping a picture on the day. I am not a picture person. But I have over 20 persons who can testify that I was there with them on that day. I also signed the form given to us,” he said.
The director of information of the university, Mr. Sanusi Saad, said in an interview that he was aware of the case, but had no authority and adequate information to comment.
He also said the university’s vice chancellor was not available for clarifications.
Israel was reported to have used his facebook page to launch scathing criticisms of Ishaku’s leadership.
On April 26, he posted: “If Gov Darius sells seven cars in his convoy alone, he will solve the problems of Taraba State University.
“Governor Darius is a tested and trusted failure, the 100 days of any government shows the direction of that government, the Darius administration has no direction, his government is the worst in the 28 years of existence of Taraba State.
“I call on all those whose hopes are high to keep their hopes down till 2023. Maybe, we’ll have a proactive and a serious governor,” he wrote.