Some students at the Ekiti State University have spoken out over an alleged invalidation of their school fees for the 2018/2019 session by the institution as a result of a malfunction of the school’s portal.
The students said the university authorities had asked the affected students to pay another school fees for the session else, they will miss exams which is billed to start next week.
It was learned that many students had problems paying their fees through the portal in 2019 and met with a staff working with the school who reportedly directed the affected students to a cyber cafe operator named Sunkanmi.
Some students allegedly paid their school fees in cash to Sunkanmi, while others made transfers into his account after which he allegedly generated receipts from the school portal.
After some weeks, the portal was said to have crashed and after it was fixed, students were directed to do validation.
Several students were shocked while trying to do validation when they realized that the receipts issued to them were invalid.
One of the students who suffered this ill-faith said over 500 students were affected.
Narrating her story, she said:
“It all started in the year 2019 (2018/2019 session) when I had issues with my school portal, and I was on the verge of making school fee payment. Without access to the portal, I won’t be able to make any payment. I was referred to the ICT centre to lodge a complaint so that the portal issue could be rectified.
“A staff member of the institution, who was the portal programmer, rectified the issue, and he called the cafe operator to his office to make the payment. It was successful because a receipt was issued to me from my portal and it showed on my dashboard that I paid.
“I took the receipt to the bursar’s office to confirm my payment and it was confirmed successfully. During the first semester examination, a clearance card (exam permit) was given to me to proceed with my examination.
“Later on, the school portal crashed and this led to the revalidation exercise. The process revealed the receipt issued to me via the school portal was invalid.”
She added that: “Over 500 of us were unable to sit for some of our exams before we were issued temporary revalidation which led to a great number of us failing our exams or searching for our scripts. The school authorities are insisting we repay our tuition fees.”
The school official and the cafe operator were reported arrested and handed over to the Department of State Services in Ado Ekiti for proper investigation but were later released on bail as revealed by another student.
The student added that;
“Now (2020/2021 session), the school authorities are asking us to pay again. We held a peaceful demonstration against this act of injustice and met with the school deputy vice-chancellor, chief security officer and the ASUU chairman. We have no money to pay, most of us have extra year just because of this issue. We really need help; this injustice is killing us.”
The students have however written petitions to the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, EKSU branch as well as the National Association of Nigerian Students. They also wrote a petition twice to the state Commissioner of Police, and one to the Office of Ekiti State Special Assistant, Youths/Students Affairs. The students added that their efforts have not yielded any positive results.
“Exams will start next week and the school has made it known that whoever does not pay the school fees will not be allowed into the examination halls,” another student said.
The spokesperson for the university, Mr Bode Olofinmuagun has responded to the issue saying that a committee has been set up to look into the case before the exams commenced.
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