Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice-Chancellor, UNILAG

UNILAG: Why government dissolves Council, returns Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor

*Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe’s removal did not follow ‘due process’ as he was not granted an opportunity to defend himself over allegations levelled against him: Visitation Panel

*His reinstatement as Vice-Chancellor will ensure peace, progress and stability in the institution, says ASUU

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The official report of a Special Visitation Panel to the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka-Yaba, has disclosed that Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, hitherto ‘sacked’ Vice-Chancellor of the University, did not commit any financial infraction that should warrant his removal from office.

Ben-Bem Goong, Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, in a statement Wednesday, November 11 in Abuja, FCT, said the panel had submitted its report to President Muhammadu Buhari, the University’s Visitor.

The statement noted President Buhari overruled Ogundipe’s removal by the University’s Governing Council, headed by Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), dissolved the Governing Council, and reinstated the erstwhile Vice-Chancellor Ogundipe.

The Director of Press and Public Relations noted the Special Visitation Panel revealed that Prof. Ogundipe’s removal did not follow “due process” as he was not granted the opportunity to defend himself over the allegations levelled against him.

The panel likewise faulted the process the Babalakin-led Council adopted in the appointment of Prof. Omololu Soyombo as Acting Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG.

The process is inconsistent with the provisions of the law on the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor, said the panel.

It, therefore, recommended that all allegations levelled against Ogundipe and the Management of the University before and after the constitution of the Special Visitation Panel should be referred to the regular Visitation Panel for thorough investigation and necessary recommendations.

The statement notes that “Mr. President, after careful review of the report, has approved all the recommendations of the Panel.

“Accordingly, Professor Ogundipe is hereby reinstated as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos.

“The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Chaired by Dr. B. O. Babalakin, is hereby dissolved.

“Mr. President hopes these steps will bring peace, stability, focus and direction to the university.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Dele Ashiru, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG Chapter, has said the reinstatement of Prof. Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor will ensure peace, progress and stability in the institution.

Ashiru described the decision of the Federal Government as a vindication of the Union’s position on the “authoritarian and dictatorial tendencies of the Babalakin-led Governing Council”, The Nation report said.

The don commended the Federal Government for upholding the truth, due process and saving the nation’s University system from undue dictatorship.

The ASUU leader stated: “It is our conviction that this decision by the Visitor to the university will enthrone peace, stability and progress in our varsity.

“We thank the Visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, for enthroning the rule of law, due process and justice in UNILAG.”

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