The Academic Staff Union of Universities has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a special visitation panel to look into the purported removal of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President, made the call while addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ogunyemi said it was imperative for the President to set up the special panel to look into the immediate and remote causes of events that led to the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.
It will be recalled that Ogundipe was removed by the Dr. Wale Babalakin-led Governing Council over alleged financial infractions among other issues.
According to Ogunyemi, the union is shocked not because the vice-chancellor is a saint but because his removal did not follow due process.
He said: “The national leadership of ASUU received the news of the purported removal of the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos by the Governing Council chaired by Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), with absolute shock and total disappointment.
“We are shocked not because we regard Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as a saint but for the fact that all available evidence indicates that he was not taken through the due process.
“In spite of Dr Babalakin’s spirited efforts to defend the indefensible, it is now clear to all and sundry that there is more to the story coming from the senior member of the bar.
“ASUU fully supports UNILAG Senate’s rejection of Wale Babalakin-led Governing Council’s ill-informed decision to remove the vice-chancellor.
“We call on Mr. President, as the Visitor to the University of Lagos, to immediately constitute a special visitation panel to look into the immediate and remote causes of the events that led to the purported removal of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as VC of UNILAG with a view to bringing all found culpable to book.”
Ogunyemi called on the National Universities Commission to probe all fraudulent practices allegedly committed by “overzealous vice-chancellors who have compromised academic standards and are subverting university ethos in the name of the so-called new normal.”
The ASUU president, however, commended the courage and resoluteness of many vice-chancellors who, he said, had stood their ground in preserving whatever was left of the quality of Nigeria’s university education.
He added that the union would not hesitate to expose those sacrificing the system in the name of internally generated revenue.