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We followed Due Process In Removing UNILAG VC, Babalakin Insists

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As Sacked VC Heads To Court To Seek Redress
The pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council, University of Lagos, Dr Wale Babalakin has accused the embattled Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe of gross misconduct and misappropriation of funds.

He made the allegations in an interview with reporters on Friday.

The pro-chancellor added that there is no crisis in the institution, saying due process was followed in removing the Vice chancellor.

Dr Babalakin further claimed the ministry of education has been briefed on the development at the university.

Meanwhile, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was removed on Tuesday as the vice chancellor of the University of Lagos by the governing council of the institution, has asked a senior lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, to challenge his “purported removal” in court.

In a letter to Mr Ozekhome on Thursday, Mr Ogundipe said his removal did not follow due process and that the council violated the university’s establishment law in its action.

There is no love lost between Mr Ogundipe and the council’s chairman, Wale Babalakin, in a fractious relationship that dated back to last year.

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But the crisis reached a head on Wednesday when the council after an emergency meeting in Abuja announced the sack of Mr Ogundipe for alleged gross misconduct.

Hours later, the council announced the appointment of Theophilus Soyombo, a professor of social sciences, as interim vice-chancellor.

Mr Ogundipe fired back, dismissing his “purported removal” as a “mischievous disinformation,” arguing that “the extant provisions of the law were not complied with” by the council in the decision.

The action of the governing council appears at odds with the law of the university.

Only the Nigerian president, who is the visitor to the university, can remove a vice-chancellor after due consultation with the governing council and senate of the university.

The Federal Ministry of Education, which is the intermediary between the president and the university, also said it had not been briefed.

Mr Ogundipe, who became vice-chancellor in 2017, took the first step to seeking legal redress in the letter he wrote to Mr Ozekhome, Punch reported.

“I hereby formally brief you to institute legal proceedings against the council, pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos, and others based on their illegal and unconstitutional act of purportedly removing me from office as the vice chancellor of the University of Lagos.

“I honestly believe that this action was carried out without due process and contrary to the university’s Act and other extant laws governing discipline, suspension and removal of the vice chancellor of the university,” Mr Ogundipe, whose tenure should have ended in 2022, wrote.

Senate rejects removal
Meanwhile, the university’s senate has also pulled their weight behind Mr Ogundipe, rejecting the appointment of Mr Soyombo as acting vice-chancellor.

The top academicism decision-making body of the institution on Thursday passed a vote of no confidence in the Babalakin-led governing council.

“Due process was not followed in the purported appointment of the acting vice chancellor as the Senate was neither informed nor invited to forward its recommendation to council,” Punch reported.

The views expressed in this article/story do not reflect the opinion of Oasis Magazine.
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