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UNIBEN Blocks Student’s Graduation For 3 Years, Says ‘Too Busy’ To Compile Records

A University of Benin student has been denied graduation for three years despite meeting all academic requirements. His lecturers and examination officials said they were too busy to compile his records.

Temidayo Awoyemi, 26, had eagerly hoped to fulfill his dreams after graduation from the school’s department of chemistry. He has spent three years since completing his studies, without graduation.

Officials in his department and faculty said they had had no time to process his records in the last two years.

The faculty checker, Professor Anthony Imiavan, in charge of scrutinizing students’ records, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the student had no case to keep him from graduating.

A spokesperson for the school told this newspaper the case was “strange”, and assured it would be resolved quickly.

Despite that assurance, the school has yet to act on the matter more than a month after.

Long wait

Like many other students of the school, Temidayo’s problem began in his final year when his department said his West African Senior Secondary School Certificate was not in its records. At least five other students in his class had the same problem.

After losing the 2012/13 school session to a six-month strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities, Temidayo hoped he would be quickly let go the next session once he provided a copy of the missing certificate.

He submitted the certificate to the chemistry department and began to wait for clearance since 2013/2014 session. Two years after, he is still waiting for the school to process his result for graduation.

The process of clearing him requires the approval of his course adviser, Wayne Omagamre; faculty checker, Professor Anthony Imiavan; the Head of Department, Professor James Okuo; and Dean, Professor Sunday Omosigho.

The officials consistently said they had been too busy to attend to the case, the student told PREMIUM TIMES.

“Even after the course adviser claimed that he had done his own aspects of the work, the faculty checker, Prof. Imiavan, especially, has refused to check my results for years now for whatever reasons I don’t know,” Temidayo said.

“From my understanding, the department has no problem with my result. I don’t have any criminal record. But I don’t know why the officials have refused to process my result.”

The university’s spokesperson, Michael Osasuyi, said the case was unusual. Mr. Osasuyi assured that the matter was receiving the vice chancellor’s attention.

“The various authorities that are concerned with this matter are now working on it. Once the vice chancellor gets a report on it, you will be able to get a feedback,” Mr. Osasuyi promised, more than a month ago.

This reporter visited the school three times within a month, but got no feedback indicating there has been no progress on the case.

When contacted, Mr. Okuo, who is the HOD, visibly angry, questioned this correspondent’s interest in the case and ordered him out of his office.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES by telephone, the faculty checker, Prof Imiavan admitted the student had no case, but that “an individual does not approve a result alone”.

Thereafter, he hung up and refused to respond to subsequent calls.

The University of Benin has lately been dogged by scandals involving harassment of students by lecturers.

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