The name Kay Bello is gradually becoming synonymous with rustication, expulsion and petition.
Recall that he was earlier rusticated from the University of Ibadan on April 13, 2010 following his involvement in a protest over hike in school fees in 2008.
He later returned to conclude his programme in the 2011/2012 session and since then, he has been repeatedly denied admission into the Nigerian Law School until last year when he was approved for the Abuja campus of the Nigerian Law School.
The University of Ibadan graduate, who recently concluded the compulsory court attachment programme of the Nigerian Law School has been shown the way out of the Bar programme after a series of face off and encounter between him and the management of the institution.
It should be noted that the final Bar examination for this year comes up on August 15, 2017.
It was gathered that his ordeal began in Law School when he wrote a petition against the management of the Nigeria Law School over what he alleged as poor social welfare conditions.
It was stated that Kay Bello printed fliers and sort to mobilise his colleagues at the Abuja campus of Law school to stand against the management and demand for a better living condition in terms of conducive classrooms and hostel facilities to justify the expensive fees they had paid for the school.
However, after Kay Bello wrote the petition and submitted, the leadership of the Students’ Representatives Council of the Nigerian Law School in a letter to the management disowned him, stating that he was acting solely on his “own volition” and not representing the students’ interest. Then he was queried and told to withdraw his petition but Kay Bello refused.
According to him, “I’m looking for a bigger platform to air my protest. It is in connection with the petition. They want me to beg but you know that I will never beg”.
LAW SCHOOL GAVE REASONS FOR HIS EXPULSION
According to a Press Release signed by Mr. Chinedu Ukekwe, the Head of Information & Protocol for the Headquarters of the school, Mr. Kayode Bello applied for admission to the Nigerian Law School in July, 2012 but was denied until October 2016 as a result of a report from his University which claimed that he disrupted the peace and tranquility of the University Campus during his days.
The report has it that in March 2017, Kay Bello had an altercation with a female colleague over a preferred seat in the venue of lecture.
“The report from his colleagues was that a female student left the hall to visit the toilet. In her absence, Mr. Bello left his seat at the rear of the hall and took the seat of the absent student. All entreaties of the Auditorium Marshall, the Chairman of the Students Representative Council (S.R.C.) and other students fell on deaf ears. It was further reported that Mr. Bello nearly went into a scuffle with the female student on her return from the rest room.”
It was stated that Kay Bello was queried after which he went on a solo protest and later petitioned the “Head, Control Room, addressed to the Secretary to the Council of Legal Education and Director of Administration, which he circulated to the whole world, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Amnesty International.”
According to the statement, this account for one of the reasons which made the Students Representative Council issue a disclaimer of his actions which was addressed to the Head of Academics on March 21, 2017.
It was mentioned that “considering his estranged relationship with his colleagues; and to avoid any break down of law and peaceful co-existence, a letter of advise was written to him to vacate the Hostel in his interest. Mr. Bello however refused to accept the letter.” Instead, the statement allege that Kay Bello went to the Bwari Divisional Police Station to lay a complaint of criminal intimidation against the management of the Nigerian Law School, seeking the arrest of all the officers and urging the Police to invite the Chairman, Council of Legal Education for interrogation.
In lieu of this, Kay Bello along with the female student he had an altercation with, the Chairman of the Students Representative Council and the Auditorium Marshall, was invited to appear before the Students Misconduct Committee, for various infractions of the Students Code of Conduct. But Kay Bello neither acknowledged the receipt of the invitation nor appeared before the Committee.
The committee therefore recommended his expulsion from the Nigerian Law School, and the report of the Committee was considered by the Council of Legal Education at its meeting of July 11, 2017, which approved the recommendations accordingly.
The statement also responds to the allegation by Kay Bello that the Law School does not have enough facilities despite the amount paid by students. The statement reads, “it is worthy of note that the Main Hall of the Nigerian Law School in the Bwari, Abuja has more than enough seats for all registered students. The position is the same in the other Campuses of Nigerian Law School”.
KAY BELLO’S REJOINDER
[Analyses]–First and foremost, I must say a very big thank you all for your support so far, because without you maybe not a single soul would have heard about my illegal expulsion from the Nigerian Law School.
All that had happened clearly showed that we cannot rest on our oars. However, it is quite shocking and shameful that the Nigerian Law School which everyone should see as a beacon of light and hope for justice had degraded to an arena of lies and deception.
Anyway, I would chronicle my response which dates to October 13, 2008, when I was released from detention over hike in school fees. I do not want to bore us with details, but comments of those that knew about it all would show that I was not part of the said protest of the October 13, 2008, but I was already detained at the Sango Police station, and Iyaganku Police station subsequently when the protest broke out.
Today, the report the Nigerian Law School got from Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose, the then Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan was that I was involved in the disruption of peace and tranquility on campus.
Please, fellow alumni of the University of Ibadan, who witnessed the 2008 protest on hike in school fees during Professor Olufemi Bamiro’s regime as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, was I in the protest then? I allow those University of Ibadan graduates to be my witnesses. To answer that, if allowed, I was detained for three days without knowing the offence I committed. One witness whom I withhold his name later inboxed me that I did not even distribute flyers as alleged by the authorities of the University of Ibadan.
Moreover, I love to state that at no time did the authorities of the Nigerian Law School wanted to admit me into the Nigerian law school. The case of my unlawful denial of admission to the Nigerian Law School was reported by me to the Public Complaints Commission that stated that I could only reapply to the Nigerian Law School in 2016 admission period.
One of the statements by the Nigerian Law School that caught my attention was , ‘’ the Dean’s confidential report showed that he defied the authorities of the University and continued his programme without serving out the rustication period. It was when his defiance was discovered that he was forced to comply.’’ I think the Nigerian Law School knows what I don’t know of. In the University of Ibadan I know of, immediately the panel or committee rusticates or expels a student, you have to obey, and the Vice Chancellor would direct that the security operatives follow you to pack your belongings from the hostel. Maybe when we get to Court, the Nigerian Law School would provide when I was forced to comply with rustication.
‘’After his studentship was reinstated, he was unrepentant as the report indicated his involvement in a case of gross misconduct (insurbodination), which made the Board of the Faculty of Law to recommend him for further disciplinary action’’: with due respect to those who want us to be fit and proper, this statement is not complete and correct being that when I was recommended for the disciplinary action, what happened? The Dean, Professor Oluyemisi Bamgbose that wrote you did not tell what happened as she and one Dr. Akintayo John of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan were hell bent on expelling me from the University of Ibadan.
The Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan pasted on its board for information, a summer multi-lateral international programme in Geneva, Switzerland in June, 2012, I applied and I was admitted, but I needed fund, then I applied for grant to the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Adewole Isaac, the incumbent Health Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but Dr. Akintayo John, the Acting Dean, stood against it, and said because a year before, in 2011 a colleague and now a lawyer, Mr. John Bamgbose in-law to the then Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan, and myself benefitted from the University of Ibadan because we presented a paper on Climate Change at a conference in the United kingdom, among other reasons he gave in writing to malign the approving authority. We represented our University and our dear country, Nigeria.
But because that time around the in-law to the Dean,Prof.Oluyemisi Bamgbose was not involved, it was a sin for me to apply for scholarship or grant from the University of Ibadan, so I opined.
Dr. Akintayo later reported me to the then Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose, when she came back that I was rude to him, and that I said he should act reasonably as to his discretion not to sign my request to the approving authorities. The matter was reported to the then Vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan who waded into the matter, and asked the Faculty of Law to drop any allegation against me, having petitioned him especially via the facebook.
A copy of my reply to Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose to act quickly that I would miss the programme if she did not sign my introduction letter to the Swiss Embassy was sent to the then Minister of Education and she wrote me that she received it. It took the intervention of the then Vice chancellor that I eventually went for the Swiss programme in the Switzerland representing my University and country, Nigeria, at the Kofi Annan’s once-attended institution, Geneva, Switzerland, christened Graduate Institute.
I thought all was over at a time as the then Dean of the Faculty of Law reconstituted another panel to go against the decision of the vice chancellor then, prof. Adewole Isaac, but all were in futility. The then Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Oluyemisi Bamgbose waited for me at the time to be mobilized for the Nigerian Law School, as I later got to know through the Public Complaints Commission that an adverse report was made against me by the then Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Law School gave me admission in 2012 but was withdrawn from its website without any reason. It took longer period before Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose could process my admission and result to the Nigerian Law School, but at that time I called the attention of the Nigerian Law School to an anomaly that they admitted two students, one Opadare and another Chuckwuemeka without complete results from the University of Ibadan, which the authorities of the University of Ibadan and the Nigerian Law School swept it under the carpet till today, and that my admission was been delayed unnecessarily. Rather they ganged up against me, and delayed my admission to the Nigerian Law School for four years.
But in 2014, after I pursued the Law school admission from 2012 to 2013 through the Public Complaints commission, I left the country to volunteer in the Philippines for the typhoon Yolanda victims with an America-based organization, called the All Hands Volunteers ( Hands.org). In the Philippines, I narrated my ordeals to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and sought asylum which partially gave me the opportunity to start my Master’s programme in Public Administration (in view).
In 2015, when a new government was sworn in promising to fight corruption, and ensure good governance, I asked the Philippines asylum/refugee authorities to allow me go to Nigeria to pursue my Nigerian Law School case, which was accepted.
I was in Nigeria in 2015 and I went to the Public Complaints Commission for my somewhat abandoned case. Noteworthy is the fact that in the Nigerian Law School’s response to the Public Complaints Commission, they stated that I would be communicated once the Council of Legal Education was done with my referred case. I love to state that the Nigerian Law School or the Council of legal Education never communicated me, but I went with a lawyer to the Public Complaints Commission for the outcome of my somewhat abandoned case since 2013 I petitioned.
Hurriedly, the Public Complaints Commission scribbled something in a document calling it outcome of its investigation that I should reapply in 2016, which I did, but I further contested the decision of the Public Complaints Commission at the National Human Rights Commission, but the Human Rights Commission stated that it could not entertain my case because the Public Complaints Commission had decided my case.
Along the line, I contacted Bamidele Aturu , of Blessed memory, before travelling out who later demanded that I pay filing fee to sue the Council of Legal Education, but that time I was even living from hand to mouth. Dr. Tahiru Mamman was the Director General of the Nigerian law School then. I already deposed to an affidavit to sue the Council of Legal Education at the Federal High Court in Lagos but to be filed in Abuja being the place of business of the Council of Legal Education.
I left the country in that 2015, when I saw the Nigerian Law School would not be possible that particular year again. I went back to the Philippines continuing my Master’s programme under the asylum programme. I told them in the Philippines that the travail and the victimization still continued somewhat, yet unresolved because I still wanted to sue the Council of Legal Education and possibly others then, while others advised that I should not, and but wait for the 2016 admission period. At a time, I petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Agency over the denial of my law school admission, but yet to receive any response from them.
In June 2016, I was in the Philippines when a friend and confidant messaged me that the authorities of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan needed my result and other documents for Law School admission. At first, I said that all the Faculty of law needed for my admission should be with them especially in terms of when I graduated and whether I had graduated or not.
I discovered that my statement of result duly signed by the Exams Officer in the Uniiversity was doubted, and I was asked by the person helping me in Nigeria to apply to send more documents, I did and I even sent copy of letter sent to the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authorities (SRA) in the United Kingdom that I am a graduate of the University of Ibadan that the University was processing my certificate.
Fellow Nigerians, I must tell that the incumbent Health Minister, Prof. Adewole Isaac did not release my certificate, and I was even referred to as a student of the University of Ibadan even after I became a graduate.
For years, the University of Ibadan kept removing my name, up till now, from the Convocation Book without any reason because I wrote about sufferings of the students on campus in the University of Ibadan when a no-cooking policy was declared by the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adewole Isaac, of which it became one of the issues the students of the University of Ibadan agitated for that led to suspension of academic activities and Students’ Union by Prof. Abel Olayinka, the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
Eventually, I forwarded relevant documents to the Faculty of Law authorities, then I was told that my name and documents had been forwarded to the Nigerian Law School for admission purpose. I came to Nigeria again in October, 2016 after taking leave of absence from my graduate school in the Philippines. But before I left, I discovered another anomaly that my name was omitted from the Registration list on the portal of the Nigerian law school. I was advised to go to Abuja to pursue the admission, I got to Abuja law school campus with a just one shirt and a pair of trousers thinking it was something I could resolve soonest but I had to return to Ibadan to pack all my load to return to Abuja, else they would deny me admission again.
Lest I forget, when I first got to the Nigerian Law School, they denied they received any document for my admission from the University of Ibadan, but I quickly showed them the decision of the Public Complaints Commission on my case, then they had no choice but to comply.
A letter I wrote to Mr. Lanre Onadeko (SAN) on November 09, 2016 on the anomaly on my admission was never replied up till date, but it was rectified after writing the head of the Information and Communication Unit (ICT), Mr Omoyele, and copying the Secretary to Council of Legal Education before it was rectified, during session, not before the academic session.
I must state that the Nigerian Law School and Council of Legal Education never gave me fair hearing when it received report against me from prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose.
I eventually started admission, and the Council’s communication to me on my
admission was given in February 2017 after repeated requests, way long after resumption, for the resumption was in November, 2016, meaning the Council of Legal Education never communicated me on its decision on my law school admission before admission exercise, whereas the Council’s decision had been given since June, 2014. I got to know I would reapply through the Public Complaints Commission in 2015. What was contained in the letter to me by the Council of Legal Education was that I was given a benefit of doubt not ‘’a letter of warning’’ as stated in the law school ‘s statement against me.
I challenge the Nigerian Law school to bring out the polo shirt and inscriptions accused of. As reported by the Punch Newspaper of Monday 24, 2017, a representative of the University said the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) regretted issuing a disclaimer against me. The Nigerian Law School should prove that I had estranged relationship with my colleagues.
It is trite that he who asserts or alleges must prove.
The Nigerian Law School or Council of Legal Educaton should provide the iron rod, and necessary convincing evidence to substantiate their allegations.
On the issue of letter from the law firm I was, it might interest anyone that for record purpose I have forwarded a voice transcript of how, the person I complained against at the Equity Law partners, where I was posted, to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) headquarters, she dealt with me insulting me and degradingly. The Principal Partner, Prof. Akper Peter (SAN) and Managing Partner, Mr. Shankyalu Tersoo were not around at times so the person who signs my log book one day flared up that she would not sign it again, without justifiable reasons. Thus, based on the information on the log book of the Nigerian Law School for attachment, it was written that whenever we have challenges where posted we can report to the NBA chairman or the Nigerian law school for reposting which I did complain to the NBA headquarters.
The Nigerian Bar Association headquarters intervened and the vice chairman NBA Abuja Branch, Mr. Oyefeso Tunde was contacted. I finished the remaining part of my externship with him. My sin was that I reported the partner at the Equity law partners to the NBA when the partner threatened or said she could not sign my log book again which she earlier signed. I reported the issue to a Senior partner at the law firm because the managing partner was not around, and the principal partner was not around too. When I saw that the matter could not be resolved as I was told that the person that threatened not to sign my log book was directly employed by the Principal partner, Peter Akper, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria and that the principal partner told me that the Nigerian Law School had already told them that I was a troublesome person but I said all he must have been told were to defame me as they have always been doing.
Moreover, it is quite sad that the Nigerian law school or the Council of legal education would include a one-sided report against me, without first hearing from me as the externship reports are two sides: one report from the externship employer and the other from me as an intern/extern, then a fair hearing should be given, by comparing both reports. It shows clearly that the Nigerian law school under the directorship of Mr. Lanre Onadeko (SAN), or the Council of Legal Education is indeed biased against me.
Needless for me to respond again to the seat reservation and facility issues since these have been thrashed out in various media, except there is new development worthy of response.
Thank you. God bless us all.