Parents of students of Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State have threatened to withdraw their children from the institution following detention of six students of the institution and a lecturer.
The media last week was awash of reports of school’s management detention of six students and a lecturer at the Awka prison since February.
The detainees were accused of expressing opinion on Facebook the institution considered damaging.
The media reports, The Nation gathered had generated public outcry including threats by some parents who thronged the university to withdraw their wards.
Speaking with The Nation, one of the parents, Christopher Onyejekwe, whose son was among the detainees, said he had visited the founder of the University, Rev Fr Emmanuel Edeh over ten times to beg for his son’s release.
He however regretted that such appeals fell on deaf ears.
He said, “Fr Ede arrested my son since February 19 till date, saying that he will not release them until they die in prison.
“I have approached Fr. Edeh to appeal to him. When the police arrested students, I went to Fr. Edeh 11 times and met him. On the 11th time, the only condition he gave me was to go and pray, which I did.”
Another parent who spoke in confidence said the period of begging for the students’ release had gone, adding that the only option was to withdraw the child from the school.
The Vice President, national affairs of National Association Nigerian Students, Chidi Ilogebe disclosed that plans had been concluded to fulfill its threat of shutting down the university if the detained students and their lecturer were not released immediately.
The matter which was due for hearing at the Federal High Court, Awka on Tuesday could not hold due to the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri.
According to an 11-count charge preferred against the defendants, the prosecutor, Mr A.N. Obo, said the publications on the social media were injurious to the image of the proprietor and the institution.
He said the alleged offences were punishable under sections 27 (1) (b) and 24 (1) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.