The Federal Government has directed the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, to recuse himself from official duties relating to the institution.
Spokesman of the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, who broke the news in a statement yesterday, said Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was also directed to recuse himself as Vice-Chancellor, adding that a panel has been set up to probe the crisis rocking UNILAG.
The panel, which is chaired by Tukur Sa’ad, former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, has Victor Onuoha, Ikenna Oyindo, Ekanem Braide, Adamu Usman, and Jimoh Bankole as members.
Expected to submit its report within two weeks, the seven-man panel is to review the report of the council sub-committe on review of expenditure of the university since and make appropriate recommendation after given those indicted an opportunity to themselves. It is also expected to examine steps taken by the council leading to the removal of Ogundipe in order to determine whether due process was followed in accordance to the stipulated universities act and whether fair hearing was adhered to.
The committee, which will be inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Wednesday, August 25, 2020, is also expected to come up with decision to assist government in ensuring peace in the university.
The Governing Council of UNILAG had removed Ogundipe from office over alleged financial misappropriation and abuse of office. But Ogundipe kicked against his removal, saying due process was not followed.
Ogundipe had filed a lawsuit at the national industrial court to challenge his removal, but yesterday, he withdrew the suit, which had as defendants: UNILAG, Babalakin, UNILAG senate; Oladejo Azeez, the institution’s registrar; and Theophilus Soyombo, the acting VC.
In a statement issued after the suit was withdrawn, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Ogundipe’s counsel, said his client took the step after consulting stakeholders and supporters within and outside the institution.
Adegboruwa discredited claims that the court has commenced action on the ex-parte application.
“Contrary to the falsehood being peddled by mischief makers, the National Industrial Court has never sat or conduct any proceedings in respect of the court case filed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwole Ogundipe,” the statement read.
“No court proceedings ever took place at all and so, no decision or ruling has been rendered by the court. Indeed, upon detailed consultation with all stakeholders and his supporters in and outside the university, Prof Ogundipe directed his lawyers to file a notice of discontinuance of the suit and this has been done on August 21, 2020.
“This is to defer to the authority of the President as the Visitor of the university as Prof Ogundipe has enough time to challenge his purported removal. This falsehood is being spread to malign the court and blackmail the judiciary by enemies of the rule of law and due process,” he said.