By Onozure Dania
Justice Mobolaji Ojo of an Ogun High Court sitting in Ota, Wednesday, dismissed the suit filed by 20-year-old Longji Felix Vwamhi, a 400 level student of Information and Communication Technology department of Covenant University, challenging the institution over his expulsion for being in possession of pornographic materials in his laptop. The case was dismissed for lack of merit.
It will be recalled that Vwamhi was expelled on November 27, 2012 following the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee set up by the university which found him guilty of being in possession of pornographic materials and indecent dressing.
The Covenant University, its vice chancellor and chancellor are the first, second and third defendants, respectively while Felix’s mother, Mrs Indo Felix Vwamhi, of Block House 13 Mbora Estate, Abuja is a co-plaintiff in the suit.
In his judgment, Ojo found out that the student has indeed violated the university regulations as contained in chapter 4 section 35 of its student hand book which prohibits public display or possession of pornographic films or photograph.
He pointed out that the student also admitted being in possession of the laptop containing the pornographic materials and sharing same laptop with friends in the school.
He also stated that the panel set up by the university to try the student did not violet section 36 of the 1999 constitution as amended and the principles of “Audi Alterem Partem and Nemo Judex in Causa Sua” . That one cannot be a judge in his own course.”
According to him, the claimant did not state categorically that the chairman of the panel was biased being the Dean of Students Affairs whose staff investigated the student in question.
The Judge also faulted the claimant’s counsel for his inability to file counter affidavit against the issues raised by the respondents, adding that, in a situation where the party to a dispute could not file counter affidavit it would be assumed he admitted.
Justice Ojo however, stated that the school authority should reconsider the letter of a passionate appeal made by the student’s father to revisit and review the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee to avert possible miscarriage of justice and colossal human and material wastage.
He urged the university authority to tamper justice with mercy and recall the student stressing that he needs encouragement to complete his education having spent four years already.