Nigerian government files to join suit against Alabama State University

Nigerian government files to join suit against Alabama State University
The federal complaint was filed in 2016 on behalf of more than 30 Nigerian students

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Federal Republic of Nigeria has filed a motion to join a suit filed by more than two dozen former and current students of Alabama State University.

The initial federal complaint filed claims Alabama State University absorbed finances allocated to the students by the Nigerian government. The Nigerian government filed a motion Monday to be included in the complaint.

According to the complaint, instead of refunding the students the funds they didn't use, the university allegedly kept the access money.

"We're talking about millions of dollars that went from the Nigerian government to Alabama State over a several year period," Attorney Julian McPhillips said.

Former student Success Jumbo explained the hardship he experienced when attempting to get the money he needed to buy books and other supplies for school.

"This is supposed to money that has been made available for us," Jumbo said. "It's not like we are asking him to pay us or give us monies from his personal pocket. This was monies already made available for us when we need them,"

The suit is asking the court to order ASU to pay back the students what they are owed.

ASU has responded to the complaint, through its general counsel, Kenneth L. Thomas:

"The agreement regarding the education of the Nigerian students dates back to 2013 and has always been between the government of Nigeria and Alabama State University, not the individual students. Since the initiation of the agreement, ASU has adhered to and complied with every instruction and direction given to the University by the Nigerian government regarding that agreement. ASU has advised the Nigerian government through several letters that as a result of the University's accounting over the last four years, the government is entitled to a $202,009.50 credit, which was deposited last year into a trust account at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Ala. The University has yet to receive a response from the Nigerian government regarding the credit."

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