HALL ASSEMBLY PASSES REOPENING OF ELECTORAL PROCESS
The Hall Assembly has passed the reopening of the electioneering process, for an extra week, for the offices of the Hall Chairperson, Social and Buttery Minister, Information Minister and Floor Representatives of floors on which there are no candidates running. However, the sale of forms for the office of the Hall Chairperson will not be open to members of the MBBS 2K18 Class who were involved in the clash with the Hall Chairperson which took place some weeks ago. The electioneering process had to be reopened because two out of the three candidates running for the office of the Chairperson would not be contesting at the ABH Elections 2022, having been involved in the clash 2K18 MBBS had with Mr Jegede, the ABH Chairperson. This resolution was made at the emergency meeting which held on Wednesday, 27th April, 2022 at the Famewo Common Room (FCR).
Just few days ago, a memorandum which had been released by the Dean of Students since October 2021, resurfaced as ABH Elections was approaching. The memorandum required that details of candidates running for various student offices be sent to the Dean of Students for verification two weeks before the election. The purpose of this, as reported, would be to verify that candidates running at the student elections have no pending disciplinary issue which might disqualify them for the elections.
After the incident between the Hall Chairperson and the said Brownites that night; it seemed, from comments passed, that there were possibilities of the Brownites involved facing the Students’ Disciplinary Committee of the University. Two of the three candidates running for the office of the Chairperson happened to be part of the involved persons— Mr Chinedu Okoro and Mr Elijah Newman.
Pleas from several people including Mr Jegede the Hall Chairperson, were made to the Hall Warden just to keep the issue from escalating, going beyond the ambits of the hall to the Students’ Disciplinary Commitee (SDC). According to the Hall Chairperson, the Hall Warden insisted that if the “offenders” would be forgiven, they must not run for any office within the hall; otherwise, their names would be sent to the Dean of Students and the case might ultimately end up with the SDC. Pleas continued to reach the Hall Warden just to have him change his mind— to allow the two involved aspirants contest at the polls without consequences. In the wake of this, a standstill was brought to the electioneering process by the Electoral Commission. An emergency meeting was hence summoned by the Hall Assembly to look into the issue.
At the emergency meeting, a number of honourables expressed their displeasure at the new development as they saw it as an unprecedented and unacceptable interference in the electioneering process of the hall by the Hall Management.
However, the Head of the Electoral Commission explained that the Hall Warden’s argument was that “a candidate cannot go for an office he has once disrespected.” Still, the honourables maintained that it was not in the best interest of the hall to drop two of the three candidates, especially when they were constitutionally qualified to run for the election and that it was tantamount to imposing one candidate on the people. Some were of the opinion that the aspirants, Mr Chinedu Okoro and Mr Elijah Newman, should step down so as not to put their studentship on the line or become puppets in the hands of the Hall Warden if eventually elected. It was also said that it would not be in the interest of Brownites for the next Hall Chairperson to have a bad relationship with the Hall Warden, with whom he is supposed to work.
Before the end of the meeting, two motions were moved. The first was that the electoral process be reopened for an extra week to people interested in the offices of the Hall Chairperson— except members of the MBBS 2K18 Class involved in the fight with the Hall Chairperson—, Information Minister as no one is yet to indicate interest in the office, Social and Buttery Minister and Floor Representatives of floors on which no one is yet run. The second motion was moved for the electoral process to be reopened for an extra week to all Brownites for all positions, except for the office of the Hall Chairperson which is not open to the men on the Hall Warden’s “offenders’ list” in this case. The members of the house took a vote in favour of the first motion (11 honourables for the first motion and 6 for the second), deciding to extend the whole process by one week giving room for brownites to indicate interest only in the aforementioned offices.
Other matters still as regards the ABH Elections were discussed. The disqualification of one of the candidates, Mr Elijah Fagbohun, was challenged by an assembly member, seeing that he was scored above 50 percent by the commission. The Head of the Electoral Commission defended the commission’s decision by trying to give the house an insight into how poorly the said candidate performed; and asserted that there was no place it was stated in the guidelines that there was a particular cut-off for qualification of candidates. He went on to say that decisions on qualification of candidates are based on what the commission sees fit to do and not based on any cut-off. The house agreed that the disqualification of Mr Fagbohun from the electoral process would still stand.