By Pamela Eboh, Awka
Parents of the six Madonna University, Okija Anambra State, students who were imprisoned for seven months on Thursday said that they will never apologise to the university authority for taking the institution to court.
The proprietor of the institution, Professor Emmanuel Edeh, had during a meeting with the parents of the six students demanded individual apologies from the parents.
One of the parents, Chief Christopher Onyejekwe, wondered why the parents should tender apologies to the university’s proprietor after detaining and ruining the careers of their children.
His words: “Why should we tender apologies to him; is it for detaining our children in prison for seven months and ruining their career? We won’t do that. We have decided to carry on with the matter in court and there is no going back.”
News Express reports that the students were arrested and detained for allegedly criticising the manner in which the university was run on the social media.
When the students were granted bail in July this year, the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Awka, adjourned the matter to October 7, 2019 for further hearing.
According to Onyejekwe, during one of the meetings held recently with the management of the university, it was agreed that the court case instituted by the parents should be withdrawn in the interest of peace to all the parties in the suit.
He added: “Sequel to the meeting we had with Very Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Madonna University, the Registrar of Madonna University and the Rector of the Saviourite House of Formation, Fr. Dr. Oliver Udaya, on 24th day of September 2019 at Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri, we; the accused persons of a case before the Federal High Court Awka with suit No: FHC/FHC/C/03/2019, decided to give peace a chance.
“We also took into consideration the concerns of many Catholic Bishops, especially Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor of Awka Diocese and Most Rev. Hilary Okeke of Nnewi Diocese and realised that giving peace a chance will be in the best interest of the image of the church and the image of Madonna University and decided to settle the matter at a round table.
“We were optimistic that the voice of reason would prevail, but when the resolution of our meeting was presented to the founder of the university, Rev Father Edeh, he asked us to tender individual apologies to the university.”
When asked to react on the matter, the deputy registrar of the institution, Dr. Charles Njoku, declined, saying: “I can’t react. They have just sacked me from the university without any reason given to me. I am in my house now.”
He said he is yet to fathom whether his sack had anything to do with the matter.