Vice President of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Students Union, Miss Jacob Tosin Grace has given her side of the story own the violence which led to her suspension.
The violent clash took place at the Central Executive Meeting of the Union on September 6th, 2017 during which she was alleged to have been involved in a fight with Social Director, Adedayo Emmanuel.
The Nation who went to the Seventh Day hospital, Lagere where Grace is receiving treatment met her in Ward four of the hospital, lying on the hospital bed with bruises on her face, breasts and supported with a Plaster of Paris.
She said she has been avoiding the Student Union’s building due to the threats and harassments from several persons but decided to attend the meeting to discuss the money disbursed to the union.
“A meeting was convened for members of the executive council and the meeting ought to hold by 5pm but didn’t start until 7pm and it held in the President’s office. Before the meeting, I had not been going to the Students’ Union Building because there have been threats against me- both sexual and oral from persons I do not want to specifically mention.
“We discussed the N3.8 million subvention the management released to the union and the issues raised at the meeting were basically hinged on capital projects which I have been vehemently against. In fact, I was against the purchase of the bus bought by the Union president a while ago and I did release a statement dated 1st of May, 2017 condemning the act.”
At the meeting several items on the agenda was discussed. Some of them bothered on construction of relaxation centre, construction of a staircase along the school’s Architecture studio-Alumni hall axis, and refurbishment of the union’s library. However, issues of the packages of the freshmen which were proposed at the rate of 1.4 million were rejected. Grace said since the Union President had failed to initially disburse funds for her concerning the freshers packages for the newly admitted students, she stood up and asked to be excused.
“I was tired at the meeting because I had an exam that morning and fatigue was setting in. I wanted to take my leave but the Director of Socials, Adedayo Afolabi Emmanuel, (Lamba) stood at the door preventing me from going out. Lamba and I have not been talking for months and this is not unconnected to the alleged bus saga and plans by some executive council members to facilitate my suspension based on the flimsy allegations that I had plans to impeach the president.”
“I pushed him out of the way telling him I wanted to leave; but he slapped me, beat me, hit me on the breasts, head-butted me, and tore my cloth. None out of the remaining six executive council members came to my rescue although the only person absent at the meeting was the Assistant Secretary General. They held me and my clothes were already torn. I was looking for an instrument of self-defense and somebody handed me a bottle.
“I hit the bottle on the table, it didn’t break, I hit it on the floor and it did break. I picked up a piece of it to scare Lamba but the Union PRO, Okediji Simon collected the bottle from me and Lamba beat me again for the second time.”
Grace who is still nursing several bruises from the wounds inflicted on her in the fight stated that no member of the executive was willing to help her or stop Adedayo Emmanuel from inflicting more injuries on her until the Speaker of the House rescued her.
“The Welfare director left me and the remaining CEC members inside after I broke the bottle while the Union PRO, Zuma collected the broken bottle from me though I never planned on using it. I was shouting until the Speaker of the Parliament forced himself inside and took me out of the president’s office. I couldn’t support myself anymore and was getting unconscious, so I was rushed to the University Health centre.
“On getting to the Health centre, I could not be attended to because I needed a security report. I ought to be transferred to OAU Teaching hospital but they couldn’t do that because their doctors were on strike, so I was rushed down here (Seventh day Adventist hospital) with an ambulance on Wednesday. I was taken to the casualty Ward at first, then I was moved to this Ward (Ward four). I had a scan done on my left shoulder, chest and the doctor told me that they would do a skull x-ray too,” She added.
She said that the President and some others came to the hospital on Wednesday claiming they wanted to see her at all cost and when the doctors told them she needed rest, they threatened to make the hospitable ungovernable.
Stating that she still has pains on the throat, neck, breast, head and legs, she called for legal actions to be taken against Lamba and other union officials that watched him beat her being beaten.
The Director of Socials while speaking with our correspondent on phone confirmed reports that they had a meeting on the 5th of September on what to use the backlog of N3.8m the school management released for.
“We had a meeting on what to use it the backlog the management released for and different people came with different ideas although the three most important were picked. All executive council members were present at the meeting except for the Assistant Secretary-General (Siewen) who had travelled home. The VP was saying that we should give her a kind of amount for freshmen’s package, but we told her that freshmen’s packages can wait and that freshmen can collect their packages anytime. I too was angry too because my proposal was turned down. She was leaving and asked whether she would get the money or not and I blocked her when she was leaving and told her to calm down.”
“Immediately, she shouted at me. She slapped me four times and she ordered me to leave her way. She was following me about. This got me angry. Before I could get another round of slaps; I choked her neck, held her cloth, but they separated us and when they separated us, she found a bottle. She hit it on the table, it didn’t break, she then smashed it on the floor, took the broken part and was charging towards me. I was close to the exit; I studied her, held her hands and we began to struggle. She wanted to stab me but ended up hurting me with the bottle. Blood came out of my hand and I head-butted her more than twice. ”
The Speaker of the Union’s Parliament promised that the parliament would take action as regards the matter; he told our correspondent that the Parliament would sanction all officers involved in the matter for discussing how to spend money which is a parliamentary issue, and for a fight occurring in the President’s office without anyone stopping them.
“I saw students banging the door of the president’s office but to my greatest surprise the President and Financial secretary came out of the office claiming that they had a meeting ongoing but I could hear cries and shouts of a lady inside. I forced my way inside and I saw the VP with torn clothes, she was looking tattered and battered. I got a key and took her out through the secretary-general’s office, I also did get her a shirt to cover her semi-nude body, she then fell on the floor. We got a bike and she was taken to the university’s health centre.”
All efforts to reach the President of OAU students’ union, the secretary-General and the Dean of the school’s Division of Students’ Affairs proved abortive.