As the Senate of the University of Lagos meets to discuss the abrupt removal of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, security officials have been deployed at the Senate building to abort the meeting.
On Wednesday, the University’s Governing Council chaired by the Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN) had announced the sacking of Ogundipe in Abuja, a development which had thrown the serene Akoka Ivory Tower into crisis.
As a result of the heavy security, the Senate building, the power centre of the university which houses offices of the Vice-Chancellor and other principal officers was condoned off.
Following lack of access to the building, the Senate was forced to shift the venue of its meeting to the late Prof. Ade Ajayi main auditorium.
Persecondnews recalls that a meeting of the Governing Council held at the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja on Wednesday made the pronouncement.
Established in 1960, Unilag is the first university established by an Act of Parliament in the country.
Summarily, the Council named Prof. Theophilus Soyombo of the Faculty of Science as the Acting Vice-Chancellor early on Thursday through a statement by the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mr Oladejo Azeez.
The statement entitled, “Notice to the general public on the removal of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos’’, reads: “Ogundipe was sacked based on investigation of serious acts of wrongdoing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office.
“The general public is hereby notified that an emergency meeting held on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, and in accordance with the statutory powers vested in it by law, the Governing Council of University of Lagos removed Prof. Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, from office as Vice Chancellor of the university with immediate effect.
“The decision was based on the council’s investigation of serious acts of wrongdoing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office against Prof. Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS.”
Irked by the sack, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has also scheduled its congress for today to discuss the development with a warning to Soyombo not to assume office.
ASUU condemned the purported sacking of the vice-chancellor, accusing Babalakin as the mastermind.
ASUU Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru, said Ogundipe remained the VC, adding that his sacking is against the law and will not stand.
He said: “His removal is illegal and uncalled for. Our union condemns in the strongest term the purported removal. It is the machination of the pro-chancellor to destabilise this university and our union has been on the forefront of the agitation against a reckless and lawless pro-chancellor.
“We reaffirm our confidence in the leadership of Professor Toyin Ogundipe as Vice Chancellor of the university.”
A member of the Senate-in-Council, Prof. Bola Oboh, had declared that the removal of the V-C ridiculed the institution’s regulations.
He called on members of the Senate to fight the unlawful manner in which Ogundipe was removed by the Governing Council.
A statement he released to the media said: “Dear Senate members, the procedure for removal of persons in office is clear and this was pointed out to Babalakin several times but he turned deaf ears. He said he would announce the acting Vice Chancellor at 5pm.’’