Over one year after the death of eight students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, in a road crash, a row has broken out over the collection of compensation on their behalf. The Students’ Union Government (SUG) was said to have collected the compensation from the firm which owns the truck that killed the eight on the Benin-Sagamu Expressway.
Did the Students’ Union Government (SUG) leaders of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State get compensation on behalf of their colleagues who died in an accident on the Benin-Shagamu Expressway, last year?
This is the puzzle students want unravelled amid claims that the union collected compensation from the company which owns the truck that crushed the victims..
The accident happened on June 26 last year. The students were travelling back home after their examination when the truck with number-plate BDG 779 XXE, skidded off its lane and crushed the bus in which the victims were travelling.
The victims were: Eunice Odubanjo Oluwadamilola, 200-Level Political Science, Mariam Ogunnoiki, 100-Level History, Elizabeth Aribiola, 100-Level Biochemistry, Suliat Adams, 100-Level Accounting, Latifat Pampam, 100-Level Chemical Science, Christianah Asade, 200-Level Law, and Olatunji Dairo, graduating Physics student. Four other bodies could not be identified.
Ibukun Akinbo, a 300-Level Chemical Science student, was the lone survivor. She was rushed to Babcock University Teaching Hospital in Ilishan Remo. It was learnt that the survivor has since been flown out of the country.
The compensation controversy was ignited last week during a remembrance service for the victims. The atmosphere on the campus was sobre, with students suspending all social activities and putting on black to remember the victims.
Many used the victims’ pictures as display picture on social media. The ongoing SUG electioneering was suspended on the day as a mark of respect for the deceased. The school was calm .
The Director of Media and Publicity of the union, Damilola Adelesi, described the deceased as “fallen heroes”, saying their death was a “huge loss” to the institution.
President of Department of Chemical Science, Temitope Alofe, confirmed Ibukun is not in the country.
As the sobre mood pervaded the campus, rumour milled round that the former union leaders led by Adenola Adegbesan got and misappropriated compensation allegedly paid by the company (name withheld) that owns the killer truck.
Dismissing the allegation in a telephone interview , Adegbesan said no compensation was paid by the company. His words: “There is no iota of truth in the allegation that we collected compensation on behalf of the victims.
The then students’ leaders, Director of Students Affairs (DSA) and some delegates selected by the school management met with the victims’ families and it was unanimously agreed that no compensation would be collected from the company. As such, no compensation was collected by anybody.”
Twelve months after the incident, there has not been conclusive report on the cause of the accident, which claims the students’ lives.
This development did not go down well with the victim’s colleagues, who urged the police, government and the school management to investigate the matter and met out commensurate punishment to anyone found guilty.
This, they said, would show that their colleagues did not die in vain