Court Strikes Out Case against ABU by Withdrawn PhD Student
The Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has dismissed, for lack of merit, a suit filed against Ahmadu Bello University and two other academic staff from Department of Statistics by a PhD student Jamilu Auwalu Adamu who prayed the court to among others declare that his withdrawal from the institution as invalid, null and void.
Jamilu, a staff of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, had, on 11th September, 2017, filed a writ of summons before the court through his counsel over what he described as wrongful withdrawal and extension of period of studies at the institution’s School of Postgraduate Studies.
The plaintiff had, in addition, claimed the sum of Twenty Million Naira (N20 million) only against the University and the two other defendants as general damages for “wrongful withdrawal, unduly prolonging the plaintiff’s period of studies, wasting of time, energy and waste of resources”.
However, the court in its judgment delivered by Justice S M Shuaibu, ruled that the case lacked merit and, therefore, refused all the reliefs sought by the respondent.
“On the whole this case lacks merit. The reliefs sought by the proceeding are refused. The suit itself is hereby dismissed”, the court ruled.
The judgment, which was conveyed in a press statement to newsmen yesterday by Director, Public Affairs Directorate, Ahmadu Bello University, Dr Isma’il Shehu, consequently, awarded N50,000 cost to each of the three defendants (the University and two other academic staff) making a total of N150,000 cost against the plaintiff.
Justice Shuaibu said there was nothing before him to show that the plaintiff had applied for a deferment of his PhD programme or had applied for late registration, saying the conclusion was that the respondent had voluntarily withdrawn from the programme.
The judge went to add that the plaintiff ceased to be a student of the University since 10th May, 2015 by his own conscious act of omission; and consequently he lacked the locus standi to institute the proceeding as he was no longer a student at the time he did.
The court, equally, rejected the argument that the plaintiff became aware of his withdrawal by a letter from the 1st defendant to the plaintiff’s solicitors in reply to enquiries made relating to the status of the plaintiff with the 1st defendant.
Justice Shuaibu said those so-called enquiries were made two years after the plaintiff had voluntarily withdrawn from the institution by his conscious and deliberate omission to register for 2014/2015 academic session.