The power imbroglio in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) over the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by the institution’s Governing Council has taken a dramatic twist, as the UNILAG Senate on Thursday, rejected the removal of the embattled Vice Chancellor.
This decision was reached yesterday at an emergency meeting attended by 88 members and presided over by a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Chioma Agomo. The institution’s Senate disagreed with the Governing Council on the removal of Ogundipe, insisting that it was in contravention of UNILAG’s regulation, and the VC was not given a fair hearing.
They also oppose the appointment of Prof. Theophilus Soyombo as the Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution.
In a media briefing with newsmen after the Senate meeting, Prof. Chioma Agomo said Prof. Ogundipe was given a vote of confidence and the senate still recognize him as the VC.
“The Senate does not recognize anybody as acting VC. The Senate has lost confidence on the Governing Council. We called on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Babalakin-led Governing Council. The Senate will not accept any surrogate acting VC. The Governing Council sidelined the Senate. There ought to be a joint Council and Senate Committee on the allegations against the VC.
“Yesterday (Wednesday August 12) was a sad day for us and for me especially, that after working here (UNILAG) for 30years, Council will take a decision without Senate’s inputs. The process of his removal did not follow due process. The Senate, an important arm of the University was ignored in the exercise. The Senate say no to the sack, Prof. Ogundipe remain our VC.”
In a related development, the embattled Vice Chancellor prof. Ogundipe, while addressing congress, thanked them for their support, and urged them to be optimistic for victory at the end.
He said ”I will forever remain a loyal Union member, I am ok and sound. We should be joyful no matter what has happened.
Meanwhile, the academic and non academic Unions of the University have unanimously condemned the sack of prof. Ogundipe, while calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Governing Council of the institution.
In a resolution signed by the Chairman of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) UNILAG chapter, Dr. Dele Ashiru, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Mr. Olushola Sowunmi, Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Mr. Ajibode Kehinde, National Association Academic of Technologies (NAAT), NASU Chairman of College of Medicine (CMUL) Idi-Araba, Mr Tunde Aderbigbe and SSANU Secretary, CMUL, Mr. Ayo Ali.
The Staff Unions endorsed the leadership of Prof. Ogundipe, and vowed not to recognise any surrogate Vice Chancellor
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Education is yet to come out with any official statement on the matter, as their intervention is expected to quell the battle between both warring factions.