Bagged First Class In UK To Shame Those Behind My Expulsion From UNIZIK – Ex-SUG president

……The Scoper Media….

A former Student Union Government President at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Noble Eyisi, who was expelled by the university in 2015 but graduated with first class honours from the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and a master’s degree with distinction at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, give how he won the race.


Please tell us briefly about yourself.

  I’m Noble Eyisi, from Anambra State. I’m 25 years old. I’m currently planning to begin my PhD but, in the meantime, I run Noble Nigeria where, together with my team, we comment on political issues on my YouTube channel.

You were said to have recently got distinction in International Law at the University of Hull, United Kingdom. Can you confirm that?

  I obtained my LLB from the University of Hull; I made first class honours in Law with Politics in July 2019. I just completed my master’s with a distinction in International Commercial Law from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Your recent achievement came a little over six years after you were reportedly expelled by the management of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. How does it make you feel?

  It does make me feel happy. By the grace of God, I was able to graduate with first class honours two years ago (2019) and made a distinction in my master’s. So, it does make me feel fulfilled that the purpose for which I left Nigeria – for studies – I am finally achieving.

Can you recall briefly what led to your expulsion?

  As a student leader, one of my beliefs has always been that my job is to fight for the interest of my fellow students. What led to my expulsion was the fact that I wrote a letter to the vice-chancellor, addressing some of the issues I felt were not being properly addressed by the management of the university. One of them was the price of food in the university. The other was the fees newly introduced in by the management. In short, after I wrote the letter to the management, we organised a protest and after the protest, I was expelled from the university but up till today, I believe I was acting on behalf of the students; I believe in servant leadership, no matter what the outcome might be.

  According to reports, members of your team dissociated themselves from the letter you addressed to the then vice-chancellor, Prof Joseph Ahaneku. Did you not carry them along

carried them along, of course. I mean they were informed but I believe their hatred for me came from a previous issue.

What was the issue?

Normally, every driver in the university pays some money to the SUG, through the Directorate of Transport. So, the SUG president appoints a Director of Transport. That has been a cash cow for the SUG president for years. When I came in, I reduced the transport fare for my fellow students and one of the bargains we made with the drivers was that they would stop paying that fare to us, so we made a sacrifice. But my fellow executives were not happy with me, so their hatred for me stemmed from those issues. So, I was not surprised when they said they would not support me in this (issue with the management of the university). But in my heart, I felt it was the right thing to do. So, of course, they (fellow executives) were carried along. But it goes back to the old use of divide and conquer; the university felt they could easily divide us and by so doing, ‘conquer us’ in the sense that they used my fellow executive members to further my impeachment from office and make sure I was expelled from the university. If I had kept on taking the money from the DOT, the case would have been different.

  But you were said to have been impeached after you were alleged to have abused your office. Did you, in retrospect, think you went too far in your actions and disrespected the school authorities? and supported you?

  Not at all. I think what made I think what made us unique was the fact that nobody sponsored us. It was a very organic movement in the sense that people recognised that there was a need for a change; students recognised that something needed to happen. Look at what students pay as fees today, compared to what we paid back then. It tells you something has gone wrong in the system. I know for certain that nobody pushed me to do what I did. I believe things have to change in our universities.

  What exactly did you write in the letter that made the authorities take offence?

  It was about the increment in school fees, some new fees my fellow students were told to pay. There were questions about the price of food in the university, things that did not favour students. So, I felt it was my responsibility to talk about them.

  How were you informed about your expulsion? Did you receive a formal letter?

  Everything began unravelling in June/July 2015. I was arrested by the school’s security service and taken to the management building and later to the Department of State Services; that was where the DSS director for Anambra told me I had been expelled and that I was not allowed into the university except to collect my things from the university hostel where I lived. That was all I heard. I was not given a letter telling me I had been expelled or the reasons. Everything happened in a couple of hours. I later picked my things from the hostel and left the university.

Were you given a fair hearing?

  I won’t personally call it a fair hearing. I think it was more of a charade. I was invited by a panel of four or five people. I’m sorry I can’t remember the full details but I remember facing a panel. I did not expect to get a fair hearing. The question they asked was directed to hear my part of the story. They were vindictive and it was not fair at all.

What course were you studying as of that time and what was your level?

  I was in my penultimate year studying Political Science. I would have graduated in 2016 but I was expelled in 2015.

  How exactly did you feel when you were informed about your expulsion?

  I felt very bad. I was depressed when I heard what had happened. I went through a period in which I didn’t know who I was. I still try to push the event to the back of my mind; I’m only talking about it because of this interview but I buried it and hate bringing it up. It affected my mental health and it took me to so many dark places. I’m glad it’s over now.

   Did you feel defeated? What did senior staff members, lecturers, and those who impeached you say after your expulsion?

   I felt very bad. I was depressed when I heard what had happened. I went through a period in which I didn’t know who I was. I still try to push the event to the back of my mind; I’m only talking about it because of this interview but I buried it and hate bringing it up. It affected my mental health and it took me to so many dark places. I’m glad it’s over now.

  Did you feel defeated? What did senior staff members, lecturers, and those who impeached you say after your expulsion?

  I felt defeated. Everything seemed bleak. For the staff members, I don’t remember any of them reaching out to me. They were happy, from what I was told – that what they wanted had been actualised. My fellow excos and student’s representative council members and a few others felt they had achieved what they set out to achieve, which was to takde me out of the position (of SUG president) and make sure they returned the student body to where it was – a corrupt student body that only cared about itself and not the students. How did your parents react? Did they blame you? What exactly did they tell you?

   For my parents, it was a feeling of shock. No one foresaw that I would be expelled from the university, so when it happened, everyone was surprised. But they didn’t blame me because they knew what their son was capable of doing. Thank God they sent me out of the country because it helped me to bounce back. I was even told I did the right thing and encouraged to keep speaking up.

  Do you think you would have graduated from UNIZIK if you had not been expelled?

  Yes, if I wasn’t expelled, I would have graduated from UNIZIK. My results up to that point were excellent; my grade point was high, something that was not common in the department. So, there was no reason not to graduate. God turned around what appeared to be the end for my good. It was a lovely three years I spent at UNIZIK. I love the fact that I left a great legacy at the university.

  In the course of your rift with the school authorities in May 2015, you raised the alarm over an alleged threat to your life by security agents attached to the VC’s office. Did you make a formal complaint to the Nigeria Police Force? What was the response?

  No, I don’t remember us making a formal complaint to the police because I was arrested by the school security and taken to the office of the DSS. I want to believe they (police) were aware. Did I feel my life was threatened? Yes. I was threatened. I remember I was in a car when a Hilux van bypassed us and stopped in front of us. They (about four of them) came out, dragged me out of the car and put me in the Hilux van. I didn’t know how they knew I was there.

 What did you think the agents wanted from you?

  I don’t know exactly what they wanted personally; I knew they were after me on the orders of the (then) VC. They wouldn’t arrest me if the VC did not want me to be arrested. They didn’t allow me to make any phone calls; they took my phone. I was harassed by the security agency of the university.

  When did you move to the UK?

  I moved to the UK in October 2015 to begin my studies afresh. Because I couldn’t access my transcripts, I had to start from the foundational year, or what one may call the first year in Nigeria.

  Was your ordeal at UNIZIK responsible for your relocation to the UK? Did you seek asylum?

  I did not seek asylum in the UK. It was because of what I went through that my parents decided that I had to leave Nigeria. One of the reasons was the threat to my life. They (my parents) felt it was better I left the country and began my studies afresh. I went to the UK on a student visa to study. I didn’t want anyone to know where I was, so it was a surprise to many when I got my first degree because I was not on social media, my pictures could not be found anywhere and no one knew what I looked like. I had to prove myself to the world that I was capable of doing this (studying and graduating).

  Some may have thought you alleged a threat to your life to gain public sympathy or as an excuse to seek asylum. What’s your response to that?

  I think it’s laughable for people to suggest that I alleged a threat to my life because I wanted to seek asylum. I am not an asylum seeker. I didn’t allege a threat to my life to gain public sympathy. I didn’t tell anyone that I had left Nigeria. It was after four years, when I graduated with  first class honours that the whole world knew I was in the UK. There was no need to gain public sympathy. I went to the UK to rediscover who I am and put to shame those people who felt I would not succeed because of what they did to me.

  How did your academic journey to the UK begin?

  My academic journey in the UK began when I left in October 2015 and started with a foundation year. For Law and Politics in the UK, it’s just three years. The foundation year was like a pre-university programme, so there was year one, year two, and a final year.

How tough or easy was it studying in the UK months after your experience at UNIZIK?

  It was difficult, I must say, coming from Nigeria and having experienced what it is like studying at a Nigerian university. Also, the environments were different. At first, it was difficult for me because I still had that mindset of being in Nigeria. I struggled to let go but in my second year I decided to let go and focus on what took me to the UK. It was tough; there was no family, no friends, but after a while, I came to appreciate the fact that I was in a new place and could rediscover myself.

 What did you sacrifice to ensure that you had good grades?

  I am not the party type, so I hardly attended parties. I would not say I sacrificed something in the UK because the environment is built to enable you to succeed. I just had to make sure I kept my eyes on the ball. I wanted to prove myself and there was no other way than by graduating with an excellent result.

  Having obtained a master’s degree, what are your plans? Do you intend to return to Nigeria and become a lecturer, perhaps, at UNIZIK?

  To be honest, I think I’m at that stage of my life where I’m open to different possibilities. What I am doing now are political commentaries about Nigeria, talking about politics in Nigeria and Anambra State on YouTube and Instagram. I am open to returning to Nigeria. I am open to becoming a lecturer one day. I am open to consulting on politics. If we want to change Nigeria and make it better, we have to be in the arena.

 Do you intend to remain in the UK for a long time?

  I don’t think I’ll remain in the UK for a long time. My future is in Nigeria. One day, I will return to play my part. I’m optimistic that Nigeria will become great one day.

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