UNILAG debate chief judge in auto crash

Leonard, 25, of the Department of Psychology, UNILAG, was rushed to National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

Fresh from presiding over University of Lagos 2013 debate, former Vice-Chancellor of Tai Solari University of Education and current Dean of the Faculty of Arts of Nigeria’s foremost institution of higher learning, UNILAG, Prof Awonusi, would not have imagined he would be involved in an auto crash that same day.

As opposed to the electrifying ambiance in UNILAG Main Auditorium, Monday afternoon, where the erudite scholar presided over the preliminary stage of the debate which saw the emergence of six student orators into the final stage, the solemn air at the medical center of the school where two UNILAG students were rushed was after an avoidable auto crash, was at best, unsettling.

And it wasn’t the professor’s fault.

At about 9.40pm, Monday, Ibe Leonard, 25 of the Faculty of Education and his “friend in mishap” Nwonu Somtochukwu, 21, of Psychology, who were returning from God-knows-where accelerating on an “built-for-speed” power bike crashed into Prof Awonusi’s gently cruising jeep at the New Hall express road of the university.

The professor wasted no time shouting on the two lads who sustained serious injuries from the crash and helped, along with other good Akokites and the duo’s friends, rush them to the medical center.

An officer who confirmed the incident to our reporter on condition of anonymity said Leonard who was riding the bike fractured his right leg near the ankle. He was transferred, late Monday night, to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, for appropriate treatment. His condition could have been worse if he was not wearing a helmet.

UNILAG DVC (in native attire) and Prof. Awonusi

Ironically, Somtochukwu, who was riding at the back and was not using a helmet, was lucky to have sustained minor injuries and escaped with his life. He was not transferred alongside his older friend as the medical personnel available at the medical center were confident of the capability to take care of him.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management and Services), Prof. Duro Oni, who was also at the medical center, and Prof Awonusi exhibited a level of generosity when they gave the victims’ friends a sum of N10,000 to take along to Igobi just in case they needed anything.

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