The management of Lagos-based television station, Television Continental (TVC), on Sunday disputed police claim that 13 students of the University of Lagos were remanded in Kirikiri prison over unlawful invasion of the television facility at the Ikosi neighbourhood of Lagos.
“The Management of Continental Broadcasting Service Limited (owners of TVC) refutes these stories and categorically states that TVC has no hand in the arrest of the students.
“TVC did not at any point report or lodge any complaint at the police station,” remarked Abisola Agbaje, the legal manager of TVC in a press release in Lagos.
Ms. Agbaje said, “Truly, the Students came into our premises on Friday the 31st of March, 2017 on or about3 p.m. to protest the “alleged rustication by UNILAG”.
“The protest was peaceful which we have on record and the students left our premises peacefully.”
She explained that the report of the protest was yet to be aired because as at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 2, Unilag authorities were yet to respond to the allegation, and that “as a responsible media organisation, reputed for fair and balance reportage we had to hold on until we get UNILAG authorities side of the story.”
Ms. Agbaje’s position was corroborated by the deputy chief executive of the station, Lemi Olalemi, who, non-plussed at police claims, said the students who came to the facility were “really well behaved and did not do anything untoward to warrant arrest in my opinion.”
He joined Ms. Agbaje to “call on the Nigerian Police to step forward and state when, and if TVC indeed lodged a formal complaint that led to the arrest of the students.”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt the students, protesting the rustication for two semesters of a visually-impaired student, Lawrence Success, were arrested on Friday and charged to a mobile court on Saturday for criticising the institution’s management.
The magistrate ordered their remand at Kirikiri Prison pending their bail application and adjourned the case to April 6, for determination of their bail.
The institution’s semester examination is scheduled to begin on Monday.
The police prosecuting counsel, Effiong Asuquo, the Officer in Charge, Legal, of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, had told the court that the accused committed the offence on March 31.
He said the accused engaged in “riotous invasion” of TVC, protesting the alleged rustication of one of their students.
According to him, the students also invaded the main campus of the University of Lagos, Akoka, and disrupted normal activities in the institution.
The prosecutor said the alleged invasion by the students was a ploy to stall commencement of exams.
He said the offence contravened Section 168 (1) (d), and Section 2 of the Criminal Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.