The step aside Governing Council of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Wale Babalakin on Thursday appeared before the Federal Government Special Visitation Panel investigating the crisis that rocked the institution recently.
Babalakin, who was declared persona non grata by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG branch, came to the venue of the sitting with armed Mopol in two vans.
He spent over five hours with the special visitation panel with two lawyers. He was invited into the Council Chambers at 8.58am to defend his submission and finished at 1.04pm.
Babalakin was spotted carrying some fills and one of his aide carried big bag while entering the Council Chambers to defend the position of the governing council.
After his submission, Babalakin told newsmen that “I can’t talk to the press. Nobody has spoken since the special visitation panel started sitting.”
Reacting to the entrance of Babalakin into the campus with the vote of no confidence on him by ASUU, the branch chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru said Babalakin came as Dr. Wale Babalakin and not as the council chairman.
He said the union is surprised that Babalakin with his posture could appear before the panel.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) made up of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) defended their submission before the seven-committee headed by Prof Tukur Sa’ad.
The JAC memoranda dated August 31 kicked against the take over of non academic staff jobs by the teaching staff and the composition of the panel.
JAC also kicked against the call for the sack of Babalakin and dissolution of the governing council. They claimed the council is fighting for the welfare of staff and should not be dissolve by the government.
Daily Sun learnt that the chairman of the governing council committee that probed the finance of UNILAG, Dr. Saminu Dagari and former Registrar, Mr. Olurotimi Shodimu appeared before the panel on Wednesday.
The step aside Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and his predecessor, Prof Rahman Bello appeared on Monday and Tuesday to defend their submissions.
Briefing newsmen after his appearance, ASUU chairman, Dr. Ashiru said he defended the union’s submission and provided insight into the contentious issues which lead to the inauguration of the special visitation panel.
Ashiru said he informed the panel about the wrong composition of the council. He disclosed that Babalakin is represented Ekiti State when his is from Osun State and Dr. Aga Adaralegbe, claimed to be from Rivers State when he is from Ekiti.
“Our union is confident that the panel recommendations will address the issues in contention with a view at taking the university to it rightful place. The members wanted to know whether what took place followed the law.”
The chairman, National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Mr. Sulyman Lawal, said the body remained neutral in the crisis and had been asked by the panel to submit a memoranda as a union on the matter and other issues.