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Ajuru University of Education suspends, demotes two students over social media posts on exam, banking problems

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The Ignatius Ajuru University of Education in Rivers State on Wednesday announced the suspension of two students for one academic year over comments on social media.

The school also demoted the students for what it described as inciteful comments.

Sunday Okopoko of the political science department was suspended for calling on students to demand a suspension of final year examinations because the school had only recently resumed academic activities.

“Only the Senate of the University has such powers,” the school said in the announcement published on its Facebook page.

Chibuzor Remmy was suspended for calling on students to protest against school authorities’ failure to make banking easier for students. The school had only one bank on campus, the student said.

In a follow-up telephone conversation with Peoples Gazette, Mr. Remmy said he was suspended by the vice-president and demoted to 100-level from 200.

He also said his parents were at the school on Monday to plead with authorities to allow him continue his studies but the vice-chancellor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele declined all entreaties.

The school said both students should immediately vacate its premises and return in 2021 to start from 100-level. It was unclear what level Mr. Okopoko was when the suspension came.

The announcement came as Nigerian government was threatening to regulate social media. Nigerians have continued to reject the proposed attempt to control their speech online, and many took to the Facebook page of Ignatius Ajuru University to slam its authority for suspending students over mere comments.

Civic groups in Rivers have also described the suspension as an assault on fundamental rights and threatened legal action to compel the university to recall the students.

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