Nigerian News — The expulsion of 28 students by Redeemer University for allegedly failing drug tests has sparked a big row.
The tests, The Nation learnt, were conducted last November for 42 students, who were asked to go for â€œroutine testsâ€.
After resumption this year, some of them were told that they â€œtested positiveâ€ and last Friday, some of those who â€œtested positiveâ€ got expulsion letters, others got theirs on Monday.
The institutionâ€™s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Adetunji Adeleye, said the decision was taken in line with the schoolâ€™s values and philosophy â€œto raise godly childrenâ€, but the students are alleging unfairness.
Adeleye said: â€œA student was caught with an illicit drug. He mentioned others involved and we took them to the school clinic for tests. Some of them tested positive.â€
But some of the affected students said the university authority never told them the purpose of the test and did not show them the results.
â€œI only saw in the expulsion letter that I tested positive to hard drugs. I asked for the result of the test, but they didnâ€™t show me. Even if they wonâ€™t show it to me, they should at least show my parents the result,â€ said one of the expelled students, who preferred anonymity.
The affected students complained about the expulsion and the fact that they were not given a fair hearing.
â€œThey should have at least set up a panel of enquiry and if the panel finds us guilty, so be it,â€ another student said.
On the results of the tests, Mr. Adeleye said: â€œThere is no need to show the students the results because the university cannot conspire against them.â€
Adeleye defended the institutionâ€™s decision, saying the expelled students are guiltyâ€“in line with the schoolâ€™s religious norms.
He said: â€œNobody should think anybody hates those students. Itâ€™s not spurious. In fact, it is even painful for us because we are losing revenue by sending them away. But itâ€™s a painful decision we must take in our quest to raise students that will transform the world. The expelled students are those that refused the universityâ€™s lifeline of a second chance.
â€œWe wanted to help them. The university has a programme designed to help them live a normal life, but they rejected the offer. A few of them accepted and they are undergoing the programme.â€
Adeleye was evasive when asked if the schoolâ€™s clinic was capable of testing urine samples for hard drugs.
On why the students were not handed over to the narcotics agency since their offence was a criminal act, Adeleye said the school was neither the police nor the narcotics agency and had no reason to do so.
He later told The Nation that the Vice-Chancellor was considering a review of the matter.-Thenation