The University of Ibadan has revealed it has no hands in the predicament of a medical student, Mr. Korna Anongo Terhemen who dropped out of school to become a cart pusher.
UI’s Director of Public Communication, Olatunji Oladejo, while reacting, gave reasons why the medical student was not re-admitted in a statement made available on Monday, titled, ‘Facts about Mr. Korna Anongo Terhemen who dropped out of UI medical school’.
In an exclusive interview, 43-year-old Terhemen narrated to The PUNCH how he dropped out as a 500-Level medical student at UI and ended up a porter, pushing a wheelbarrow for a living in Gboko town, Benue State because of depression.
Terhemen was admitted into the University of Ibadan in the 1996/97 session (as a medical student) and by 2000 he moved on to the University College Hospital before dropping out.
Narrating how he lost interest in academic work, thought of suicide, and almost cut off his radial artery, Terhemen explained that he tried to go back to UI but the authorities of the university did not allow him.
In a separate interview, Terhemen’s mother – a retired nurse, Mrs Winnifred Anongo, lamented that it’s devastating that her son ended up as cart pusher after dropping out of medical school.
Moved by the 43-year-old medical school dropout and his mother’s narratives, many Nigerians called on the management of UI to give Terhemen a second chance by re-admitting him.
But the varsity explained that “In line with extant regulations on studentship, Mr. Korna had ceased to be a student of the institution, having not registered for 14 years, out of which he had severally been away without any form of official permission.
“He had over-stayed the cumulative number of sessions (11) allowed for medical students in the University.”
Read full statement:
FACTS ABOUT MR. KORNA ANONGO TERHEMEN WHO DROPPED OUT OF UI MEDICAL SCHOOL
For some days now, we have carefully and painstakingly followed reports, call-outs, insinuations and opinions in the media about Mr. Korna Anongo Terhemen who dropped out of the University of Ibadan Medical School.
Most of the reports on this protracted matter of more than 20 (twenty) years are full of wide gaps and misrepresentations which this write up will address:
To begin with, it is on record that the University of Ibadan responded to a petition by Mr. Terhemen to the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives dated 26 March, 2014 which was served on the University for consideration and appropriate response through the Senate Committee on Education in April 2014. The University responded (after painstakingly going through its Committees and processes) by a letter from its immediate past Registrar dated 20th February, 2015 with 10 Annexures.
By way of antecedents, a similar petition as the one that the University was called upon to present a Brief in 2015 was also served on the university in 2018. The University of Ibadan by a letter in July, 2018 through its Registrar, briefed the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Petitions on a matter entitled “RE: APPEAL FOR RESTORATION OF STUDENTSHIP: KORNA TERHEMEN PETITION NO. 844 OF 2018.
In the Brief, the Registrar stated, among others, that the above-named petition addressed to the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives (then Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal) from one Mr. Korna Terhemen dated 26 March, 2014 on the above-named subject, as touching a Summon/Hearing Notice to the Vice-Chancellor issued on 30th May, 2018, was received in his office on 11 June, 2018. He was to appear on 12 June, 2018.
The University of Ibadan, upon receipt of the Summon/Hearing Notice, expeditiously responded by asking an Abuja Area based Legal Practitioner in person of Barrister Adekunle Adegoke to represent it at the sitting of 12 June, 2018, to plead for time to bring up a Brief as requested. (The University remains appreciative that this request was magnanimously granted).
In view of the time lag between 2014 and 2018, the University had to go back to its records to see what was done and to find out if there were new or emerging incidents/facts since the letter mentioned above was dispatched to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education. As none was found, it was proper that the same line of response in 2015 be adopted in 2018 showing the steps taken at that time as follows:
*That the Faculty of Clinical Sciences to which Mr. Korna belonged, as well as the Academic Board of the College of Medicine, considered the request, but still maintained that the studentship of Mr.
Korna Anongo Terhemen had lapsed based on the following:
**Available records on Mr. Korna show that he last registered as a student of the University of Ibadan as far back as the year 2000 and that was when he also wrote the last examination which was MBBS Part l, in July, 2000. This contravenes the extant regulation that “All students shall register for their courses of study in the University at the beginning of each academic year in accordance with the rules made from time to time by the University”.
Records show that Mr. Korna was in and out of the institution as chronicled below:
(i) He was admitted to the University of Ibadan in the 1996/1997 Session to study Medicine;
(ii) His expected date of graduation 2004;
(iii) He passed 100 Level- January 1998;
(iv) He sat for MBBS part I, but had reference in BIOCHEMISTRY – February 2000;
(v) He took the resit examination in Biochemistry and Passed MBBS Part I – July 2000;
(vi) He was absent without permission and failed to attend Postings after passing MBBS Part 1;
(vii) He was absent during the MBBS Part II both the Main and Resit examinations;
(viii) He wrote a letter of appeal to return to the School to the Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences having explained reasons for irregularity and absence during MBBS Part II – August 12, 2000;
(ix) The Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences via a letter dated 28 August, 2003 referred him to a Psychiatrist for evaluation;
(x) Academic Board at the meeting of 01 December, 2003 approved his application to resume studies on health grounds ;
(xi) The Faculty requested him via a letter dated 08 December, 2003 to join Group A 2002 for his Postings- No evidence of Registration.
(xii) He requested for a letter of identification to enable him change his Course – 22 June, 2004. No evidence that this was pursued to a logical conclusion;
(xiii) He wrote a request for a letter of recommendation to enable him transfer his studentship to University of Jos in October, 2006. He collected the letter on 06 October, 2006; and
(xiv) He showed up again with an application for retrospective suspension of studies via a letter dated 25 October, 2008 and application for resumption of studies via a letter dated 04 December 2008; both retrospective suspension and resumption of studies were approved by the Academic Board – April 08, 2009 /11 May, 2009.
Records further revealed that:
(a) He was absent during Surgery I and Medicine I Posting;
(b) He wrote a letter explaining reasons for his absence during the Posting – 19 April, 2010. He claimed he was kidnapped by hoodlums;
© He left school again in 2010 only to show up in 2013 with a letter from University Health Service dated 10 April, 2012 as being fit to resume academic work; and
(d) Mr. Korna, via a letter dated 10 June, 2012 appealed to be permitted to resume studies on humanitarian grounds;
It is pertinent to also note the following:
(a) Mr. Korna had (as at 2014) spent about seventeen (17) years in the University.
(b) He did not sit for the MBBS Part II examination and did not participate in all the necessary postings that would make him eligible to sit for the said Examinations.
Based on all the foregoing, the recommendation from the Academic Board was forwarded to the University Senate for consideration. Senate considered the submission and observed as follows:
1. The complaint by Mr. Korna of denial to complete his studies because he left the School without permission to treat a relapse known as Manic-depression Psychosis was not the complete truth.
2. The Academic Board on different occasions had bent over backwards to accommodate his excesses to allow him complete his programme and this dragged on for 17 years (up to 2014)
3. In line with extant regulations on studentship, Mr. Korna had ceased to be a student of the institution, having not registered for 14 years, out of which he had severally been away without any form of official permission.
4. He had over-stayed the cumulative number of sessions (11) allowed for medical students in the University.
5. In view of all that have been stated above, the Senate of the University as at 2014, was unable to further waive the regulations in order to accept Mr. Korna back as a student of the University of Ibadan.
Consequently, Senate of the University of Ibadan upheld the submission from the Academic Board that Mr. Korna’s studentship had lapsed.
The Registrar further stated, that the above matter, if re-tabled in 2018 before the Senate of the University of Ibadan would have no chance of a re-think, since nothing has changed between then and now. No new facts have been found that would warrant any change, more so the rules and regulations of the University, the time lag, and most importantly, the sensitivity of the course of study being Medicine, are all not in favour of restoration of studentship for Mr. Korna.
From the foregoing, it is evident that the University of Ibadan explored all avenues to help Mr. Korna, therefore reading “Mr. Korna, the truck pusher’s” story, is unfortunate.
May God bless us all.