The Federal Government has directed the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin, and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to recuse themselves from official duties.
The Federal Government made the announcement in a statement by Ben Goong, Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, in Abuja on Friday.
The statement directed the duo to remove themselves from duty pending the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that Unilag’s Governing Council, headed by Babalakin, removed Ogundipe at its meeting in Abuja on August 12 over allegations of infractions and gross misconduct.
The Council appointed Prof. Theophilus Omololu Soyombo of the Faculty of Social Sciences as the Acting Vice-Chancellor.
However, the institution’s Senate and all its workers unions condemned Ogundipe’s removal, saying it flouted the university’s regulations.
They all made a vote of confidence on Ogundipe and vowed not to recognise the acting vice-chancellor.
Ogundipe has also said he is still the vice chancellor, urging the public to disregard news of his removal.
The members of the panel are Prof. Tukur Sa’ad (Chairman); Victor Onuoha; Prof. Ikenna Onyido; Prof. Ekanem Braide; Prof. Adamu Usman; Chief Jimoh Bankole; and Grace Ekanem, who would serve as the secretary.
The panel’s terms of reference include “to determine whether the process (if any) leading to the appointment of the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university was consistent with the provisions of the enabling Act,” and make recommendations, including sanctions, for all those found culpable.
The panel, which is to be inaugurated on Wednesday in Abuja, was given two weeks to submit its report.
The nominated members, according to the statement, shall “oversee the affairs of the university, pending government’s decision on the report of the special visitation panel”.
The statement also said the Senate should meet to appoint a vice chancellor, thus ending Soyombo’s appointment as acting VC by the Babalakin-led Council.