Six students and a lecturer of the Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State, were on Tuesday returned to the Awka Prison following the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri, of the Federal High Court 2, Awka.
The students were arrested and detained in January for posting on Facebook an opinion considered to be injurious to the university by the management.
They were granted bail by the court in February, but were unable to fully perfect the bail conditions, which they described as stringent.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, parents, relations and lawyers to the defendants were told by a court clerk that the matter had been stepped down for Wednesday (today).
Speaking with journalists, one of the parents of the detained students, Mr Christopher Onyejekwe, expressed sadness over the development.
He said Tuesday was the third time the court would not sit since the students and the lecturer were granted bail by the same court.
Onyejekwe lamented, “This is getting on our nerves. No fewer than 30 parents of the students have started meeting to discuss how to withdraw their children and wards from the school.
“I’m leading them and we shall withdraw no fewer than 200 students from the school next semester.”
Onyejekwe said when the problem started, he went to the founder of the institution, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Edeh, 11 times to beg him to forgive the students to no avail.
“It has become a fight to the finish; these children have been suffering in detention since February 11, 2019. Four of my children are in the Madonna University now, but all of them will be withdrawn,” he added.
However, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chuks Ezedum, described the purported panic withdrawal of students as false and unfounded.
“No parent or guardian has requested the withdrawal of any student. The school community is safe, friendly and accommodating to all members,” he stated.
He said the panic withdrawal might have been invented by the families and associates of those facing criminal charges brought against them by the Inspector-General of Police.