BENIN—A Benin-based socio-cultural group, Edowuoya, has expressed dismay over the demolition of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, Senior Staff Quarters, including the official residence of former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin, by Edo State Government, insisting that the action was a “disrespect to the rule of law.”
The group, in a statement by its convener, Mr. Ken Owie, in Benin yesterday, also accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s government of ignoring “an appeal for stay of execution” by the university before embarking on the demolition exercise.
He said: “The action was targeted at our illustrious son, Prof Oshodin, the immediate, Vice Chancellor of the University to humiliate him. We, therefore, implore the exercise of humility and decorum in governance.”
The group restated its commitment to always defend and protect illustrious Bini sons and daughters from calculated harassment and humiliations by those in authority, including government.
It will be recalled that the said property had been an issue of litigation between Edo State Government and the University of Benin with the institution claiming that the 18 bungalows were handed to the university as a “gift” by the then Military Governor of the defunct Bendel State, Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia (ret), following the establishment of the University in 1970.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Government insisted that the university’s occupation of the property was meant to be “temporary.”
However, a state High Court, last December, delivered a judgment on the disputed property in favour of the state government and by the court judgment, the state government last week demolished the buildings.
The state Attorney-General, Henry Idahagbon, had, while defending the government action, said: “It’s not demolition, we only took possession of our property,” in line with the High Court judgment.