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UNILAG appoints Acting Vice Chancellor

The crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG) further deepens as the Governing Council of the University appointed Professor Theophilus Omololu Soyombo of the Faculty…

The crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG) further deepens as the Governing Council of the University appointed Professor Theophilus Omololu Soyombo of the Faculty of Social Sciences as the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University.

Soyombo’s appointment was disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday by the University Registrar and Secretary to Council, Oladejo Azeez.

Azeez said he made the announcement in his capacity as Registrar and Secretary to Council and also as the only custodian of the minutes of Council and the authorizing officer on behalf of Council to issue official statements pertaining to all Council affairs.

The Governing Council of the University had at an emergency meeting on Wednesday removed Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe from office as Vice Chancellor of the University with immediate effect.

Azeez in a statement on Wednesday said that the decision was based on Council’s investigation of serious acts of wrong doing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office against Professor Ogundipe, noting that his removal was in accordance with the statutory powers vested in the council by the law.

The embattled VC, Ogundipe in his reaction, described his purported removal as an illegality that cannot stand as it is in clear violation of the University of Lagos Act as amended by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003.

Ogundipe in a statement urged the University community and the general public to disregard the information, stressing that he remains the Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos.

The Registrar has however asked members of the public to disregard the statement attributed to Professor Ogundipe, insisting that he was lawfully removed by the Governing Council at a meeting fully attended by all Council members.

It would be recalled that the University has been enmeshed in leadership and union crises.

The Governing Council, led by Dr. Wale Babalakin had last year filed a petition alleging that there were some infractions in the award of contracts which include the on-going library project, among others.

It took the intervention of members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement who carried out an investigation into the contract award crises.

The supremacy battle between the University management and the Pro Chancellor, Babalakin lingered, leading to the postponement of the University’s 51st convocation scheduled to hold in March, 2020.

The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), UNILAG chapter angered by the role played by the Pro-Chancellor in postponing the convocation in March passed a vote of no confidence in Babalakin, saying he was a persona non grata on the campus.

Reacting to the removal of the Vice Chancellor, the Union Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru condemned his purported removal, describing it as illegal and uncalled for.

He accused Dr. Bablakin as being behind the plot. “It is the machination of the Pro-Chancellor to destabilise the University.

We reaffirm our confidence in the leadership of Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as Vice Chancellor of the University,” he said.

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