President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate reinstatement of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, following his acceptance of the recommendations of the special Presidential Visitation Panel constituted on the matter.
The directive was handed down by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Relations, Ben Goong and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Governing Council of UNILAG removed Ogundipe during its meeting at the National Universities Commission headquarters on August 12 and replaced him with Prof. Omololu Soyombo as acting VC.
Ogundipe, who was appointed as the vice chancellor of UNILAG in November 2017, was accused of financial impropriety, gross misconduct and abuse of office.
As the visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari constituted a special Presidential Visitation Panel to look into the removal Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor of the University by the Governing Council, chaired then by Dr. Wale Babalakin.
At its inauguration on August 26, the panel was given two weeks to complete its assignment and was assured by the Minister of Education, when receiving their report, that President Buhari would take a decision in order to restore peace and a conducive learning atmosphere in the university.
The statement said Buhari and Visitor to the University of Lagos had approved the report of the Special Visitation Panel to the University of Lagos and accordingly declared that due process was not followed in Ogundipe’s removal.
“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 a regular Visitation Panel for thorough investigation and necessary recommendations,’’ the statement said, quoting the panel’s report.
The panel also found that the process adopted by the Council in the appointment of Prof. 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.
“Mr President, after careful review of the report, has approved all the recommendations of the panel. Accordingly, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe is hereby reinstated as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos.
“ The Governing Council of the University of Lagos Chaired by Dr. Babalakin is hereby dissolved. Mr President hopes that these steps will bring peace, stability, focus and direction to the university’’, the statement said.