Lagos Assembly sets up committee to probe LASU crisis

By The Citizen
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The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a seven-man ad-hoc committee to investigate the recent violent protest by the students of Lagos State University (LASU).

Also, the Senate of the university is sharply divided over the position of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa, to surcharge students for the damage arising from the protest that rocked the 30-year-old institution.

Recall that for two days, January 22 and 23, 2014, LASU students went on rampage following the closure of the registration portal on the university's website, which disallowed many students from registering for the new semester and participating in the examination.

Several students were injured while the university's properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in the mayhem.

The Clerk of the Lagos State House of  Assembly, G. O. Abiru, in a circular entitled Constitution of a seven-man ad-hoc committee of enquiry into LASU crisis, dated February 4, 2014 sent to staff unions, students union, some stakeholders and the university management, invited them to a meeting on February 6 at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium, Assembly Complex, Alausa in Ikeja.

It was gathered that the invitation was also extended to the chairmen and secretaries of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).

According to him, the staff union and students unions as well as the university management met the seven-man ad-hoc committee members separately and were asked to submit a position paper on their presentation later.

It was also gathered that during the Senate meeting, the vice chancellor announced that students would be surcharged for the properties and items destroyed during the protest but he was reminded of the position of the state Assembly.

It was learnt that when the House invited the university management and the students union, it directed that the institution should remain closed for three weeks to enable repairs of the damaged properties.

But while the vice chancellor wants to pass the cost of repairs to the students, the university Senate thinks otherwise.

Meanwhile, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) organized a public meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis at LASU and came out with a six-point demand to the state government and the state House of Assembly.

The demands include reversal of the fee hike, opening of LASU to enable students register and write examinations, improvement in the funding of the institution and democratic management of the institution. Also, it urged that there should be no victimisation of any student, no payment of reparation and that repairs of vandalised properties should be carried out by using the proceed from the students' caution fee as well as written and publicized apology letters from the university management and Lagos State Government to the students. - The Sun.