Rasheedat Adeshina, a Nigerian lawyer, has narrated how campus activism got her in a prolonged legal tussle with Shuaib Abdulraheem, a one-time vice chancellor at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).


In 2014, TheCable had reported how the supreme court ordered UNILORIN to release the certificates of some of its students who were said to have been victimised on account of their involvement in campus unionism/activism.

Adeshina, who was affected, took to Facebook on Wednesday to narrate what led to the seizure of the certificates.

The lawyer, who gained admission in 1995 and was elected into the students’ union in 1997, said trouble broke out in 1998 when she and her cohorts mobilised students to protest a tuition fee hike by the UNILORIN VC’s tenure.


“I became a convinced Marxist in 1995 when I gained admission into the UNILORIN to study Industrial Chemistry. As a radical Marxist candidate, I won the [students’ union] election overwhelmingly,” Adeshina wrote.

“Prof. Shuaib Abdulraheem Oba just assumed office as VC and his inglorious rein just began then [in 1998].

“Oba employed the famous tactics of divide and rule to maintain himself in power and as a base from which to carry out one of the most reactionary offensives against students and staff in the history of the University of Ilorin.


“This was at the time when the military dictator Abacha was still in power. Oba, as an Ilorin indigene, mobilized lecturers and students who are also Ilorin indigenes against everybody and everything else.

“With emir and government on his side, he cheaply carried out his grotesque attack on everything progressive in Unilorin. As an Ilorin Indigene that I’m, he thought I should be an automatic candidate in his shameful camp.

“He was deeply pained and terribly disappointed that I did not only decline to be a tool in his hands but ended up being the leader of one of the most powerful students’ oppositions to Oba’s injustices and misrule on campus.

Rasheedat Adeshina

“He vowed over his dead body will I graduate. On occasions, he vowed to ensure he ruined my life and make sure I everlastingly regret my stand. Then commenced the long and difficult legal battles that ran for almost 2 decades.”


Over 30 days in jail, 14-year certificate seizure

Adeshina said the varsity crushed the tuition hike protest by unleashing the security and police operatives on them.

She said many were arrested in the process, including NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) zone D representatives who came with the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) students’ union bus.

“The arrested students and the NANS Zone D representative; comprising students from LAUTECH and OAU were all detained and imprisoned at the Oke Kura Maximum Security Prison in Ilorin for more than 30days,” she added.


“I narrowly escaped, reading in almost all the then-popular newspapers that I have been declared wanted. I could only imagine the trauma it had on my parents. I  went underground. Suspension from school immediately followed.

“I challenged this unjust suspension at the federal high court in Ilorin and won. But the university refused to abide by the court order. I had to get a committal order (form 48 and 49) before I could be allowed to sit for exams.

“It was such a very difficult period; you will have an exam the following day and won’t be sure you will be allowed; whether to read and not to merely waste your time. I would often go into the exam hall with the court order.”

“My final year exam in the year 2000 started and ended. Whenever anybody tried to stop me from writing exams, I would take out the court order and asked the person to sign that he/she was disobeying the court order.”


Rewriting GCE, JAMB, post-UTME — starting afresh in law

Adeshina said UNILORIN had refused to release her result. This, she also said, prompted her to proceed to the federal high court in 2004, the appeal court in 2006, and ultimately to the supreme court, all of which ruled in her favour.

She said she rewrote all her entrance exams to get into the University of Ibadan (UI) for a Law degree in 2013.

“I had been in and out of court and law chambers throughout my stay in UNILORIN. I was with Comrade Barrister Segun Sango my first Counsel in 1998, then Barrister Baiyeshea chambers, and finally Citi-point chambers,” she wrote.

“I was already familiar with legal terminologies; form 48 and 49, injunctions, affidavit among others. I was already joining lawyers to prepare briefs for my cases. As a pure science student, the journey looked too long and daunting.

“I wrote GCE in 2011, proceeded to write JAMB in 2012 and Post-UTME. Finally gained admission to study law at the University of Ibadan in 2013/14 session. Along the line, Supreme Court delivered a favorable final judgment on the case on June 6, 2014, after 14years of graduation, and already a 200L law student of the University of Ibadan.”

“Millions of naira were paid in damages. The really good news was that my certificate was released while Professor Oba is still alive. Looking back, I have no iota of regret. As we always say, Aluta Continua and Victoria Ascerta.”

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