Nigeria President Buhari Reinstates Sacked UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Dissolves Babalakin-led Council

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File: A collage photo of Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Wale Babalakin and ousted Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
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President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday ordered the immediate dissolution of the Wale Babalakin-led Governing Council, University of Lagos.

This was coming as the Buhari administration gave reasons for the reinstatement of the suspended university’s Vice Chancellor, Toyin Ogundipe.

Though Babalakin and some members of the council have since tendered their resignation letters, the latest decision of to Federal Government was in fulfilment of the recommendation of a Special Visitation Panel set up by President Buhari to resolve the crisis rocking the institution following the controversial removal of Ogundipe.

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“President Muhammadu Buhari, and Visitor to University of Lagos has approved the Report of the Special Visitation Panel to University of Lagos.

“The highlights of the findings and recommendations approved by Mr. President are as follows:

“The removal of Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe as the Vice Chancellor did not follow due process.

“The Vice Chancellor was not granted an opportunity to defend himself on the allegations upon which his removal was based. He should accordingly be re-instated.

“All allegations made against the Vice Chancellor and the management of the University before and after the Constitution of the Special Visitation Panel should be referred to regular Visitation Panel for thorough investigation and necessary recommendations.

“The process adopted by the Council in the appointment of Professor Omololu Soyombo as Acting Vice Chancellor of the university was inconsistent with the provisions of the law relating to the appointment of an Acting Vice Chancellor.

“The Governing Council should be dissolved.

“Mr. President after careful review of the report has approved all the recommendations of the panel.

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“Accordingly, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe is hereby reinstated as the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos.

“The Governing Council of University of Lagos Chaired by Dr. B. O. Babalakin is hereby dissolved,” said a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, Ben-Bem Goong.

It would be recalled that Ogundipe was accused of financial impropriety and gross misconduct. He was removed controversially at a council meeting which took place at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja.

The relationship between Prof. Ogundipe and Dr. Babalakin became strained about two years ago.

Idowu Sowunmi