By Ebebe Florence, Education Reporter
About 30 parents have threatened to withdraw their wards from the Madonna University in Okija, Anambra State.
Six students and a lecturer were arrested and detained in February for an alleged opinion they posted on Facebook. The post was about poor management in the institution.
A parent, Christopher Onyejekwe, told reporters that the institution was likely to lose over 200 students next semester. According to him, he went to the founder of the institution 11 times to beg him but to no avail.
He said: “It has become a fight to finish; these children have been in detention since February 11. Four of my children attend the school.”
Meanwhile, the absence of Justice Babtunde Quadri of the Federal High Court 2 in Awka yesterday stalled the release of the detainees.
The court was filled with parents, human rights activists and concerned individuals. But the judge, it was gathered, would sit today for the continuation of trial.
Deputy Registrar of the institution Charles Njoku could not be reached for comments.
Before now, members of the National Association of Nigeria students (NANs), led by the Southeast Vice Chairman, Chidi Ilogebe, had staged a protest at the Federal High Court against the institution.
Ilogebe said: “We came to register our dissatisfaction on how the management of Madonna University is treating our colleagues. Sometime in February, we got information that the police, following a petition by the school management, arrested some students.
“The petition alleged that the students were criminals, cultists and fraudsters, but we know that our members are not kidnappers, fraudsters or cultists. We decided to investigate the matter and understood that the petition was written to get the accused out of the NYSC camp and their parents’ homes. A further investigation revealed that the school management was acting because the students wrote against them on social media…”
The detainees appeared in court yesterday for hearing but were taken back to Amawbia prisons because the court did not sit due to the absence of the judge.