GOWN/TOWN

Uneasy Calm At UNILAG As Ogundipe Is Purportedly Ousted As Vice Chancellor

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  • Professor Theophilus Omololu Soyombo Named Acting VC

By Ifeoma Asika, Correspondent Campuses

The unsavoury storm that started at the University of Lagos(UNILAG), south west Nigeria, early this year, that led to the postponement of the Convocation Ceremonies, has not settled.  Instead, like Hurricane Katrina, it has assumed a greater momentum, this time with news filtering in the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ogundipe may have lost his job, and Professor Theophilus Omololu Soyombo  of the Faculty of Social Sciences, being appointed as Acting Vice Chancellor..

Checks carried out by Cyber Era indicate the news is not unfounded, afterall.  An Advisory from UNILAG, authored  yesterday by its Registrar and Secretary to Council, Oladejo Azeez , affirmed the removal of the Vice Chancellor  which had immediate effect, was carried out by the Governing Council after its crucial meeting, in conformity with the extant laws establishing the ivory tower.

The communication from the UNILAG Registrar served to remove speculations concerning the propriety of Ogundipe’s removal.  “This decision was based on Council’s investigation of serious acts of wrongdoing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office leveled against Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe,” Azeez wrote.

However, there is a twist to the unfolding narrative around the leadership of the University as we gather that elements acting in sympathy with the purportedly ousted VC  protested yesterday ostensibly in defence of the embattled Ogundipe, claiming that his ordeal was being masterminded by the Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin.

Expectedly, the UNILAG authorities, through another statement signed by Azeez, served to dismiss those standing in sympathy with the embattled VC.   Indeed, Ogundipe is believed to have instigated a letter signed by him rubbishing the claims to his purported dismissal.  “For the avoidance of doubt, I am in my capacity as Registrar and Secretary to Council the only custodian of the minutes of Council and the authorizing  officer on behalf of Council to issue official statements pertaining to all Council Affairs,” Azeez said while calling on the general public to discountenance Ogundipe’s claims as he was lawfully dismissed.

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE) has responded to Ogundipe’s removal from office by the Governing Council of the institution.

Spokesperson of the FMoE, Ben Goong, in a statement in Abuja, said the Minister had not been briefed on the purported removal of Vice-Chancellor.

Goong said that the council had the power to hire and fire the Vice-Chancellor, with a proviso, however, this must conform to due process.

The statement read in part: “My dear colleagues, the Federal Ministry of Education wishes to state that it is yet to be briefed on the developments at the University of Lagos regarding the purported removal of the VC.

“While the ministry awaits for the proper briefing from the university authorities, it is important to reaffirm that council has the power to hire and fire but that due process must be followed in doing so.”

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