The management of Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State, has said it has commenced a probe into the circumstances surrounding an alleged attack on a student by the Dean of Students Affairs of the institution, Dr Abdulsalami Ibrahim.
It was gathered that Ibrahim approached a 300-level student, identified simply as Abdulhakeem, on Wednesday with a machete and ordered him to cut grass, but the student was said to have refused.
An eyewitness, who pleaded not to be named, told our correspondent that the dean also asked the student for his matriculation number, adding that Abdulhakeem insisted on knowing why he wanted his matriculation number.
Angered by the student’s effrontery, Ibrahim was said to have physically assaulted him.
According to the eyewitness, the student was injured in the head and was immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment as he was bleeding heavily.
The eyewitness said, “This is not the first time that the dean has done this. He had in the past assaulted many other students on flimsy excuses. We are not here to be cutting grass or cleaning classrooms. The university has gardeners and cleaners, who are doing these.
“I guess, if not for the quick intervention of other lecturers and students, who took the injured student to the hospital, nobody could say what might have happened.”
A statement made available to our correspondent by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Toyeeb Olayinka, stated that the management was currently investigating the incident with a view to taking appropriate actions against whoever was in the wrong.
He said there was no riot or protest on the university campus as a result of the incident.
The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the reported incident of a physical assault on one of our students by a university official, whose story has gone viral on the social media.
“We would like to inform the public that the matter is currently under investigation and appropriate actions will be taken thereafter.
“We hereby state in clear terms that there was no incident of riot or protest whatsoever on the university campus as being speculated in some quarters.
“I wish to reiterate that the university management is committed to the welfare, safety and security of all students in a peaceful learning environment and will not tolerate anything that will undermine the efforts being made to take the university to greater heights.”
A senior officer of the National Universities Commission, who pleaded anonymity, said the parents of the affected student should write to the institution to demand why their son was treated that way by the dean.
She stated that a copy of the letter should be sent to the promoter of the university, adding that it was only if the university fail to sanction the dean that the NUC could be involved in the case.
The NUC officer said, “The parents should write to the university that it has come to their attention that their son was brutally treated by an official of the university. They should state that they did not send their child to the university to be beaten by an officer of the school.
“The letter should ask the university management to explain to them what appropriate action has been taken against whoever did it. The NUC can only come in when the university fails to do something about it. Otherwise, it is an issue that the university, which is autonomous, can handle.”