Wale Babalakin, governing council appointment of professor Soyombo. Bar. Mike Ozekhome challenge the University of Lagos, VC Ogundupe Campus protest and how the crisis all started.
The governing council of the University with the pro-chancellor and the council chairman, Babawale Babalakin has explained to Tropics Nigeria the reason why the Vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, was removed from office as the VC on Wednesday 12th of August, 2020.
The removal consists of six governing councils of which four voted against him, according to what Tropics Nigeria found out.
Breakdown of the Unilag Crisis
The pro-chancellor, Wale Babalakin, of the University of Lagos opposes the removal of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as the VC of Unilag.
Prof. Babalakin told our Reporters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja that he has been in office since 2017, and that his removal was a “serious act of offense, financial distrust, and abuse of office.”
Two days after the Unilag VC removal was announced, there was a serious protest inside the University’s main campus led by the VC himself, Prof. Ogundipe at Akoka.
The Unilag Senate and the Staff Union in the school campus have condemned the removal of Prof. Ogundipe.
Where the Removal took Place?
The removal of Prof. Ogundipe by the governing council happened after a meeting in the headquarters of the National Universities Commission in Abuja. Where they stated that the reason for his removal was an act of “Serious act of wrongdoing, Misappropriation of the fund, gross misconduct and abuse of office”.
Prof. Ogundipe disagreed with the allegations laid against him, stating that it was against the University Lagos act.
In a Statement from prof. Ogundipe, he has earlier told the public not to mind the Information that he is still the VC of the University of Lagos.
That didn’t move the governing council as they went ahead to appoint Prof. Theophilus Omololu Soyombo as the Acting Vice-Chancellor to replace Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
How the Unilag Crisis would affect the Students
The governing council is in charge of all the activities of the University.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Ademola Adeleke told Tropics Nigeria News that this problem would affect the Students.
Professor Adeleke further said that from the look of things the University is still closed and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is still on strike.
What is the right way to remove a sitting Vice-chancellor in university of Lagos?
According to Section 17 of the University of Lagos Act.
“If it appears to the Council that a member of the Council (other than an ex officio member) should be removed from office on the grounds of misconduct or of inability to perform the function of his office, the Council shall make a recommendation to that effect through the Chancellor to the visitor, and if the Visitor, after making such inquiries (if any) as he considers appropriate, approves the recommendation he may, by an instrument in writing signed by him, remove the person in question from office,” Section 17(1) of the act stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari is the visitor of the University of Lagos and he hasn’t said anything about this yet.
Section 3 of the University act 2013 (amended)
“When the proposal for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor is made, the Council shall constitute a joint committee of Council and Senate consisting of- (i) three members of the Council one of whom shall be the Chairman of the
the committee, and (ii) two members of the Senate, provided that where the ground for removal is infirmity of the body or mind, the Council shall seek an appropriate medical opinion,” the act reads.
While Section 3(10) holds that “the Committee shall conduct an investigation into the allegations made against the Vice-Chancellor and shall report its findings to the Council,” subsection 11 states that “the Council may where the allegations are proved remove the Vice-Chancellor or apply any other disciplinary action it may deem fit and notify the Visitor accordingly provided that a Vice-Chancellor who is removed shall have right of appeal to the Visitor.”
Current Situation of the Unilag Crisis
Professor Ogundipe has taken the case to court where Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome on the case that the governing council didn’t follow due process alias according to the law.
The federal government through the Ministry of Education has paid a deaf ear to the crises in the university about the Vice-Chancellor, saying they weren’t brief on the issue.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed acting vice-chancellor by the University of Lagos Professor Omololu Soyombo, wants the stakeholders in Unilag to embrace peace in the interest of the university.
The Acting Vice-chancellor, in a statement on Friday, stated that he considers the absolute need to address the university community “for the sake of alias challenges that can affect the steadiness and progress of the university”.
The University of Lagos, also known as UNILAG, is a public research university in Lagos, Nigeria.
Unilag is one of the five first generation universities in Nigeria and establish is 1962.
The University currently has three Campus in Lagos Mainland. students on the campus normally call themselves Akokites.