A Federal High Court, Ibadan has ordered the University of Ibadan (UI) to pay N200,000 as cost to Aderemi Ojo, a former students’ union leader for failing to open defence in the case.
Justice Uche Agomoh gave the order on Tuesday after listening to the application of Ola Adeosun, the counsel to Ojo to award the cost against the University for delaying the dispensation of justice.
The judge noted that the matter had suffered unnecessary setbacks at the instance of the defendant, adding that justice delayed was justice denied.
She, however, refused to foreclose the defence from testifying as requested by Adeosun.
“In the interest of justice, the defence will be allowed to produce evidence.
“However, the respondent must pay a cost of N200,000 to the plaintiff for wasting the time and resources of the plaintiff,” Agomoh said.
The judge adjourned the case until May 30 for commencement of defence.
Earlier, Adeosun had urged the court to foreclose the defendant from calling witnesses.
Adeosun argued that the defendant had held the case down for too long and that the court should give judgment based on the evidence provided by the complainant alone.
He told the court to order UI to pay a cost of N500,000 to his client if the court would not foreclose the case.
The Defence Counsel, A.S. Ajayi urged the court to invoke Order 19 of Federal High Court, which stipulated that defence had not delayed the case unduly.
Ajayi contended that he was unable to begin the defence due to his inability to locate his witnesses.
He added that the ongoing ASUU strike and illness of one of his witnesses had been major hindrance to the case.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ojo wants the court to declare that UI lacked the powers to expel him and to order the University’s Senate to reinstate him as a student of the school.
Ojo was a 400-level student of History when he was rusticated in 2017 by the university authorities for allegedly leading his fellow students in a protest.