Fresh crisis is brewing at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) over the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olawatoyin Ogundipe, by the Governing Council on allegation of misconduct and other infractions.
Ogundipe’s sack was announced during an emergency meeting held at the National Universities Commission (NUC) Complex, Abuja.
But Prof Ogundipe dismissed his removal as untrue and advised stakeholders of UNILAG and the general public to disregard the “mischievous disinformation” about his sack.
“The purported removal is an illegality and cannot stand as it is in clear violation of the University of Lagos Act as amended by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003.
“Therefore, members of the University of Lagos community and the general public are advised to disregard the information about the sitting Vice-Chancellor of the University contained in the notice. Prof Ogundipe remains the VC of UNILAG.’’
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) UNILAG chapter has also claimed that the removal did not follow due process as stipulated in the university act.
A management staff told Daily Sun that six members voted for the removal of Prof. Ogundipe while four voted against. It was further gathered that one of the council member voted for his suspension.
The emergency council meeting was presided over by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin and out of 15 members only 12 attended.
In statement made available to Daily Sun, Registrar and Secretary to Council, Dr. Oladejo Azeez, said the VC was removed in accordance with statutory powers vested in the council by law.
“The decision was based on council’s investigation of serious acts of wrongdoing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office against Prof Ogundipe,” Azeez explained.
The registrar’s statement did not state who among the three deputies – Prof Oluwole Familoni, (Academic and Research, Prof Emukufia Oghojafor, (Management Services) and Prof Folashade Ogunsola, (Development Services) – will take over from Ogundipe as acting VC for six months.
But ASUU UNILAG branch chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru told Daily Sun that the union will not allow anybody to take over because the process leading to the removal was wrong and the sole handiwork of the council chairman.
Dr. Ashiru described Babalakin’s decision to remove Ogundipe without following due process as dictatorial.
Ogundipe was appointed in November 2017, after he defeated Prof. Olukayode Amund and Prof Ayodeji Olukoju to the post. Until his appointment, he was the deputy vice chancellor of the university.