Gabriel Dike, Lagos
The Special Visitation Panel constituted by the Federal Government to probe the recent crisis that rocked the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Monday started sitting behind close doors.
Before the commencement of sitting, memoranda from the unions and stakeholders were collated and sitting started behind camera. By 2:00 pm, the box, containing the submitted memoranda, was emptied and taken into the Council Chambers based on deadline given by the panel.
Some stakeholders came after the deadline to submit their memoranda but couldn’t as the box had been taken into the Council Chambers. The seven-man panel headed by Prof Tukur Sa’ad arrived Lagos yesterday from Abuja.
The Federal Government on August 26 set up the special visitation panel on UNILAG to investigate the recent crisis and asked the Governing Council chairman, Dr Wale Babalakin and the Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to step aside until government take a decision based on the outcome of the panel.
Armed policemen from Sabo Police Station and UNILAG Security personnel were seen at the venue of the panel sitting. The panel would sit behind camera and also interest staff or stakeholders will be invited to clarify issues.
The Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) UNILAG branch, Mr Kehinde Ajibade, told Daily Sun that the union will submit memoranda to the panel.
The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG branch, Dr Dele Ashiru, said the union has submitted and hope to be invited to substantial their position.
Dr Ashiru told Daily Sun that in their submission ASUU demanded for the removal of Dr Wale Babalakin and the dissolution of the governing council.
Defending the union position on the dissolution of the council, he said the council was put together based on fraud as Babalakin claimed to be from Ekiti State instead of Osun State and also that Dr Aga Adaraigbe, a staff in Babalakin’s Chambers is from Ekiti and not Rivers State as claimed in the government document on state of origin of members.
According to him, the union successful proved in it submission that Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was illegally removed as Vice Chancellor by the Babalakin-led governing council.