7 years after, Appeal Court orders ATBU to reinstate expelled student, pay N1.1m damages

August 30, 2020
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For Victor Alom Oboh, a 300-level student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, who was expelled, his long wait for justice did not end in vain as the Jos Division of the Court of Appeal has ordered the university to reinstate him.

The court also ordered the university to pay him the sum of N1.1 million as damages for illegally expelling him over accusation of examination malpractice which was not proved.

The plaintiff, Victor Alom Oboh, had in 2013 filed a suit against the university at the Federal High Court in Bauchi challenging his expulsion by the management over alleged involvement in examination malpractice, an allegation he denied.

After scrutiny, the presiding judge, Justice Shittu Abubakar on May 17, 2018 ruled that the expulsion of the plaintiff “is hereby voided and nullified. The defendant is hereby ordered to pay a sum of N1,100,000 as general damages.”

He also ordered that Oboh be reinstated to continue his study with immediate effect.

The management of ATBU also on June 1, 2018 challenged the ruling of the Federal High Court and approached the Appeal Court, Jos Division for adjudication in the matter.

In a copy of the judgement made available to Tribune Online, a three-man panel of justices led by Justice Tani Yusuf Hassan, the Appeal Court upheld the ruling of the Federal High Court, Bauchi on the ground that the expulsion was null and void with no effect.

According to the judgement, “The appeal failed and it is hereby dismissed. That the judgement passed by Justice Shittu Abubakar is hereby affirmed.”

The judge “ordered that ATBU pay Victor a sum of N100,000. In total, the university will pay the student N1,100,000 and reinstate him to further his master programme.”

While reacting to the judgement, the plaintiff, Victor Oboh said that he fought the battle to clear his name.

He said, “Just within three minutes after the commencement of an examination, an invigilator accused me of malpractice and asked me to fill a form in that regard which I declined. I was expelled.”

An elated Oboh said that with the judgement of the Appeal Court, he has been vindicated saying that he will return to the school to further his education to the level of Masters in Engineering “with immediate effect.”

He also expressed confidence in the judicial system of the country, saying that no matter how long it takes, the truth must always prevail at the end.

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