The Vice-Chancellor of Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, Professor Ademola Tayo has explained why the institution expelled a 300- level Accounting student nicknamed Mia Khalifa, seen in a viral video having oral sex with a former student in a facility outside the campus.
The university had said in a statement by its Director of Communication and Marketing, Mr. Joshua Suleiman, that the video was taped in April 2019, when the young man, who had earlier been expelled in February, was undergoing rehabilitation at a health facility.
The VC, who made this known in a meeting with journalists at the institution, said the university had to expel the girl to protect the institution and its alumni, rather than being dragged in the mud or tagged derogatory names.
He said he was close to tears when he was signing her expulsion letter, while expressing hope that the student will turn a new leaf, graduate and be celebrated in the near future.
"Anywhere our ladies go, we don't want them to be tagged prostitutes and face all kinds of ridicules. If we keep mute, the public will think anything goes in the university. We have to make a statement through the discipline. I signed the expulsion letter with tears in my eyes as a responsible father.
"The pastor called me last week and I prayed with the family. Sometimes discipline is therapeutic, when you go that way, you realise that what you have done is not right. I look forward to a time when the young lady will graduate and be celebrated. It may not be here, but we are not throwing her away with the bath water, we are praying with the family.
"Babcock is based on love, but love has two sides, discipline and mercy. If we overlook some things that the students do, our children will not be the same. Some parents have called to commend me for the stand I took and that they would have withdrawn their children if they feel they are not safe on campus."
The VC who also reacted to an online story tagged 'Four Worst Universities to Beware of in Nigeria', where Babcock University was named the third after LAUTECH, OOU, and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), described it as a sponsored campaign to smear the image of the institution.
"I know where it is coming from, we will not relent, but we will do our best to offer holistic education to our children. Many say we are glorified university because we monitor them. Though there are isloted cases of students that misbehave, some are on drugs which we treat as they come and we refer them to referal centres. But to say the worse that out of 172 universities in the country, Babcock should be Iisted as one of the worst. I know the university is envied by many, particular when we matriculated almost 3,000 students when some private universities do not have even 100 students and so there are campaigns in order to smear.
"I believe that when you pull somebody down, you are also going down with the person. We are not resting our oars despite the media onslaught in recent times which has painted the university black."
In another development, a Law graduate of the institution, Mayowa Mubashir Abiru has emerged the overall best at the 2019 Nigerian Law School Bar examination. Abiru, who graduated with a second class upper division from Babcock, is one of the 10 alumni of the institution with a first class grade at the bar exams.
The institution also ranked third among universities that produced the highest number of students with first class at the Law School bar exams this year.
Abiru went home with 11 awards among which are council of legal education star prize, most promising graduate, student of the year, prize for first class, overall best student, overall best male student, student of the year, overall best in corporate law, best student of the year, and third prize in ethics skills.
Tayo congratulated the students and their faculty for the feat, saying that the university will continue to strive for excellence in every aspect of its programmes.
"It is for this reason that the university was founded; to be an academic entity of excellence, offering value in cutting-edge and functional education to her students."
The Dean, School of Law and Security Studies, Professor Deji Olanrewaju, who attended the call to bar ceremony that attracted academics, captains of industry, as well as family members and friends, said "Babcock remains committed to the Adventist philosophy of holistic education and transformational leadership."
This is not the first time Babcock will be breaking records for academic excellence beyond its campus. Miss Moyosore Eigbe an Accounting graduate emerged 2018 overall best student, in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) examinations (London, Canada and Nigeria centres).
Two other alumni, Gilbert Benson Oladeinbo won the 2019 Kerry Harike Joe Decke memorial award for outstanding moot court board member at University of Georgia School of Law. Ngozi Ukweni, a 2015 first class graduate of Accounting and a chartered accountant was also listed as 2019 Forbes under 30 scholar.