For over a year since February 14th, 2019, Jordan Afolabi’s innocence has been called into question concerning what has been determined to be his actions of lawful self-defense by a crown prosecutor as well as an independent investigator hired office.
During the investigation of false allegations that Jordan had attacked and assaulted another student without provocation, the University of Windsor refused to thoroughly search for witnesses to the incident. This left it up to Jordan to do the work of looking for witnesses to tell the true version of what occurred that day while also managing a full-time course load and being restricted from campus. Jordan has stated that he firmly believes the statement of anyone who saw the incident would prove that he was innocent.
Accordingly, he made painstaking efforts to find witnesses– trying to remember the students who may have been in the Odette Building, attending the Registrar’s office to inquire about classes that had been going on at that time, and speaking to the professors who had been teaching said classes at the time in order to provide class lists of students that may have been there. This was work that the University should have been doing in its investigation and not Jordan. Despite Jordan’s efforts, due to confidentiality restrictions, the professors he contacted were not able to assist him in finding students who may have been on route to their classes around the time of the altercation.
Joseph Yakow is the student who attacked and assaulted Jordan Afolabi in response to Afolabi unintentionally bumping him with a door, subsequently falsely accusing Jordan of assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats. Joseph stated that throughout the allegedly unprovoked beating, he never touched Jordan except in his efforts to get away. Joseph even went as far as stating that he “blacked out” during the altercation and saw a “white haze in his periphery”. The attached video provides more details concerning Jordan’s interaction with Yakow.
As a result of this, Jordan was arrested, incarcerated and criminally charged with assault causing bodily harm. Additionally, Danieli Arbex (the University of Windsor’s Academic Integrity Officer and in-house Misconduct Investigator) as well as Ryan Flannagan (the University’s Associate Vice President of Student Experience) suspended Jordan from his classes, banned him from campus, and initiated an investigation into whether or not Jordan would be expelled from the University as a result of the allegations.
During this time Jordan was suffering from early pain symptoms of appendicitis and his campus doctor (Dr. Valerie Hill) had been monitoring his condition closely. In the video above, a sick and sleep-deprived Jordan can be heard pleading desperately with the University and informing them that he was suffering from serious health conditions; despite this, Ryan Flannagan denied Jordan’s request to visit his doctor and directed him elsewhere (Ryan’s email can be seen below). Jordan has stated that he was desperate to see Dr. Hill because he had already begun a lengthy diagnosis process with her which included CAT and Ultrasound records. These records would also require a lengthy process to transfer to another practitioner during a time in which Jordan’s symptoms were worsening. Surely enough, Jordan’s appendix ruptured shortly afterwards, and he was required to undergo an emergency invasive surgery in order to have his appendix removed due to the critical, potentially life-threatening nature of such a condition.
During his time in the hospital, Jordan wrote e-mails to his professors requesting to write make-up exams, shift assignments, and accommodate him for his health issues. Jordan has expressed his disappointment with the University’s decision to ban him from his physician on campus, and has further expressed that he feels this may have contributed to the necessity for an emergency appendectomy– as there is a reasonable possibility his physician would have been able to treat the condition early on without surgery. Additionally, the wrongful accusations and charges he was facing would greatly damage his chances of being admitted to Windsor Law, where he hoped to apply for the 2019 cycle. Having been kept in a jail cell for a crime he did not commit, Jordan knew that he had to continue to work to prove his innocence; all the facts of his situation only served to amplify Jordan’s drive for achieving justice.
Finally, after much deliberation and many procedural errors made by the University during their investigation, Jordan was allowed to attend school without restrictions on July 23rd, 2019.
But Jordan wasn’t finished here. On June 19th, 2019, Jordan had submitted a 23 page complaint to the university stating that Joseph had attacked and assaulted him as well as subsequently fabricated criminal allegations that resulted in extreme measures being taken against him. Jordan argued that such conduct was unfitting for a UWindsor student, and that it amounted to a clear violation of the UWindsor Student Code of Conduct. Immediately after the decision was made that Jordan had not violated the student code of conduct, Jordan began attending Ryan Flannagan’s office to follow up. Despite repeatedly acknowledging that Joseph’s actions were wrong, Ryan Flannagan refused to discipline Joseph and argued that due in part to the injuries Joseph sustained as a result of Jordan’s efforts to defend himself, he could not bring himself to take further disciplinary action. He stated, “I think that it’s been difficult for you [Jordan] but it has also been equally difficult for him [Joseph]”. Ryan also implied that the details of the actual altercation were still not very clear to him and highlighted the fact that Joseph still disagreed with the finding of fact.
Close to a year later, a Toronto Star article was written about Jordan’s situation. After this article came out, two witnesses who remembered the incident came forward of their own accord in response. These witnesses both corroborated precisely what Jordan had said regarding the incident for a full year; Jordan was attacked multiple times by a student, only acted in self-defense, and was trying to escape the situation the whole time. The recorded statements of both witnesses can be seen here.
This was very important for Jordan, as he was finally no longer the only person who knew what had truly happened that day and could speak on it. Both witnesses stated that the it was Joseph Yakow who had initiated the attack on Jordan (multiple times, at that) and that Joseph was the aggressor throughout the altercation. Both expressed shock that Joseph was not at all investigated or disciplined for the altercation by the University.
Jordan had these video statements shown to Ryan Flannagan as well as the members of the ACT team and despite the confirmation of both of these witnesses that Joseph Yakow had been the aggressor of the altercation, Ryan Flannagan issued the following statement on February 14th, 2020 refusing to take action:
Based on the information you have provided, the Assessment and Care Team noted that there have been no interactions of any kind between yourself and Mr. Yakow since February 14, 2019. Mr. Yakow was advised not to have any contact with you in the decision letter he received in July 2019, and by the accounts/information provided, it appears that he’s been following this direction.
In the absence of any new information that Mr. Yakow has not followed this directive, the Assessment and Care Team has recommended that no action be taken at this time. It is the view of ACT (and I am in agreement) that the current non-contact directive that is in place remains the appropriate remedy.
Despite attacking and assaulting Jordan in response to no intentional provocation, and subsequently filing clearly malicious and false allegations against him that contributed to a long year of foreseeable difficulty for Jordan, Ryan Flannagan, Danieli Arbex, and the University of Windsor have not deemed Joseph Yakow’s actions to be a threat to the safety of the campus. These are the same individuals who suspended Jordan from classes and banned him from campus without any concrete proof of Joseph’s allegations that Jordan had assaulted him without provocation, and prior to even completing an investigation. These are also the same individuals who have treated Jordan as a risk and threat consistently throughout this process. Danieli Arbex pushed the panic button (for the first time in the history of the Office of Student Experience) after Jordan attended her office for an appointment which she had set with him one hour prior. Ryan Flannagan defended these actions, stating that she was afraid, and that she is a “5’2, all of 120 pound woman…who did not have a gun to defend herself with”.
Jordan has been dealt with discriminatorily and unfairly throughout the entire process of proving his innocence. Even after the decision has been issued, he continues to be treated as the guilty, instigatory party despite the University’s own investigations finding him to have acted out of self-defense. Even up until now, Jordan has been banned from the Office of Student Experience due to Danieli Arbex’s (the original investigator of Jordan’s case) stated fears for her safety– despite finding him innocent. To the best of our knowledge, Joseph Yakow is free to attend the Office of Student Experience at any time.
Jordan has stated that he will not abandon his efforts to have the University take disciplinary action.