The Supreme Court has declared as illegal the withholding of the result of a student, Stephen Olanrewaju Akinola, by the authorities of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
Akinola, who got admission into the university in 1995 to study Statistics, got into trouble in the school for being part of student unionism.
The development prompted Akinola to file a legal action before a Federal High Court in Ilorin which delivered a judgement in his favour but the UNILORIN failed to obey the verdict.
The institution further appealed against the judgement while Akinola also filed a contempt proceedings against the university. While the contempt proceedings and the appeal were going on, a Resolution Committee on Politically Victimized and Rusticated Students was set up by the president.
The two parties appeared before the committee and terms of settlement were agreed upon by which the university agreed to pardon the student for whatever wrong he may have committed if he withdraws the contempt proceedings against the institution.
After withdrawing the suit, the school failed to honour the agreement reached and continue to withhold Akinola’s result.
After the breakdown of the agreement between the two parties, the case went into full trial and the appellate court ruled in his favour and awarded N7million damages to Akinola.
Dissatisfied with the judgement, the university lodged another appeal at the Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court in a unanimous judgement delivered by a Justice of Supreme Court (JSC), Justice Mary Odili, upheld the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Ilorin.
Justice Odili said: “To be exact, what the appellant and its agents were doing was without the necessary vires and in fact was an affront on the authority and powers of the Head of State. These were the findings of the two courts below which are unassailable and there being no leg on which an interference by this court on those findings of fact not to talk of the fact that no miscarriage of justice or perverse findings can be alluded to, this court, in line with its policy, has to go along with those findings emanating from sound evaluation by the two courts on the facts available, the operative law and the evidence including the documentary evidence.
“Indeed, I am at one with the findings and conclusion of the two courts below, and so those concurrent findings are upheld. I award N200, 000 cost to the respondent to be paid by the appellant”.
[Source: Kunle Olasanmi, Leadership]