Malam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister for Education

UNILAG: Government directs Babalakin, Ogundipe to refrain from official duties over leadership crisis

*Federal Government inaugurates 7-man Special Visitation Panel August 26, says Ministry of Education

*Expected to make recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the recent degenerating alterations between the Governing Council and the Management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka-Yaba, in Lagos State, creating tensions in the University community, the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed Dr. Wale Babalakin, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, and Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel instituted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Members of the panel, according to the Federal Ministry of Education, in Abuja, FCT, include Prof. Tukur Sa’ad (Chairman), Barrister Victor Onuoha, Prof. Ikenna Onyido, Prof. Ekanem Braide, Prof. Adamu K. Usman, Chief Jimoh Bankole and Barrister Grace Ekanem (Secretary).

Ben Goong, Spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Education, in a statement announced the government’s decision Friday, August 21, 2020.

The statement said: “Government also directs the Senate of the University of Lagos to immediately convene to nominate an acting Vice-Chancellor from among its members for confirmation by the Governing Council.”

It is recalled that Babalakin-led Governing Council August 12, had sacked Prof. Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct.

However, the Vice-Chancellor rejected the Council’s decision, saying the University’s due process had not been followed in that regard.

Subsequently, other stakeholders in the University system, including the University’s Senate, alumni, and Labour unions in their separate reactions to the sack of Ogundipe said that due process was not followed.

Babalakin, nonetheless, in several media rejoinders, insisted that due process had been complied with in terminating the Vice-Chancellor’s appointment.

The Federal Ministry of Education’s statement further said the Presidential Panel, made up of seven members, is expected to determine whether the required steps were taken by the Council or otherwise in sacking Prof. Ogundipe.

They are also expected “to make appropriate recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable” in the investigation, which is expected to last for two weeks.

The panel will be inaugurated Wednesday, August 26 by Malam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister for Education.

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