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Babcock University seems to be presently under fire as about N46 million extortion allegation is currently rocking the institution.
Babcock University is owned and operated by Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ilishan, Ikenne Local government area of Ogun state.
It was gathered that problems started in the school when the management of the institution asked the 48 final year students of the Department of Medicine and Surgery in the school of Benjamin Carson school of medicine in the institution to pay N962,700 each for a practical in India which was not eventually organized for the students.
It was further gathered that after the whopping sum of money was paid into the coffers of the school management the journey became impossible as the India embassy failed to grant the students the visa.
The issue then became a clog in the eye of the school management when parents and students insisted on refund of their money which the school could not meet up with, even as the time of filing this report.
Speaking to some of the affected students who do not want their names in print, confirmed that the money was paid into the school coffers.
They also told PLATFORM TIMES that as a result of the payment which their parents have resolved to deduct from their final year tuition fee, the management had also vowed to prevent any students who fail to pay the tuition fee in full from writing the final year examinations.
However, the final year examinations are expected to commence on July 16.
One of the students who narrated the incident said, ” They told us around October 2017, that we have to make payment for our trip to India for training and they collected about
N962,700 from us, although, I don’t know how many people paid, but we are 48 in the class.
“From January last year we started going to the Embassy, of which the first batch is supposed to go on the 5th of March, 2018, but after going to the Embassy three times, two days to the set date, we received a message that the Visa was not gotten and the traveling has been postponed indefinitely (because they didn’t give us a date).
” After a while, we resumed back to school without getting any useful response from the school, So January this year, when we resumed, we were supposed to pay our school fee but we refused to pay because we still have our money with the school.
“On the 12th of January, they then called an impromptu meeting with our parent, but they were unable to attend because the meeting was impromptu.
” Since then, we haven’t heard anything from them up until today when we got a message from the management that we have to pay our school fee because they are yet to get the money back and If they get it, it would be paid into our accounts. But we know fully well that the possibility of we getting the money back may be very slim because we are graduating and leaving school next month and coupled with the fact that a lot of us doesn’t stay around here.” She added.
Another victim of the alleged extortion also also corroborated her colleague saying “When it was time to pay our school fee, we demanded the refund of our trip fare for the medical training but the management was just tossing us around with no official statement or specific date for the refund of our money instead they told us to pay our school fee else we would not be allowed to write our final year examinations which are supposed to come up in July 16, 2019.
“We pay N3,000,000 per annum for final year students, I have paid N1.8 million, my parent then said for us to pay the balance of N1.2 million the school should refund our money, that they have been unable to do.”
Speaking for the management, the
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Iheanyi Okoro explained that the trip is an annual trip for the final year medical students of the school describing that of this year as unfortunate.
“It is an unfortunate incident which the University management is sad about. The India medical training trip is an annual orientation for our final year medical students and we have successfully taken three sets of the students in the last four years to India for the same exercise, it’s just unfortunate that this fourth set was unsuccessful.
“The truth of the matter is that there were slight changes from the India embassy for medical training in India which the India embassy did not inform us earlier. It was about a week to the trip that we got to know about the new changes, whereas, we have incurred some expenses on Visa processing, agent fees, and airline ticket.
“When we couldn’t get through to the India embassy, we applied to the Medical Council of India and the council said we have to pay 9000Rs which we paid N1.734 million for the 48 students from the university’s coffers, so, after we waited for another three months without favourable response, we had to call off the trip because the exams are closed by.
“But as I talk to you, we have credited the student’s accounts this morning with the sum of N405, 077 and the airline operator had promised to refund the sum N203, 000 for each student, but they are yet to credit the school’s account. Once we received the money from the airline operator, we shall equally credit the student’s account which will make the total refund to be N608, 000 from the N962,700. So, there’s nothing shady about the whole process.”