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UNILAG governing council chairman defends VC removal

The Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, has defended the sack of the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Toyin…

The Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, has defended the sack of the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Toyin Ogundipe, insisting that the council followed due process in removing him.

Babalakin, who spoke for the first time after the removal of the Vice-Chancellor by the Council at its meeting in Abuja, declared that “there was full compliance with the law in the removal of the VC.”

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He also said that the Ministry of Education had been appropriately briefed on the council’s decision to sack the Vice-Chancellor.

The council had, on Wednesday, announced the removal of Ogundipe over allegations of funds misappropriation but the embattled VC declared his removal as illegal even as the Senate of the University and all staff unions backed him, saying he remains the VC.

Ogundipe had also sued the council, saying it breached all known rules of natural justice and section 36 of the 1999 Constitution in purportedly removing him as VC.

He said he was never heard or ever made to face any panel or committee to defend himself against allegations of his alleged unauthorised expenditure of university funds, leading to his purported removal from office.

However, while addressing newsmen on his arrival from Abuja at the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal two (MMA2), the council chairman said no law had been breached in removing Ogundipe whom he accused of “recklessly looting the University funds.”

He dismissed the threat of the unions and the University Senate not to recognize the Acting Vice-Chancellor appointed by the council, stressing that there was no crisis in UNILAG.

Babalakin stated that; “there is a vocal minority benefiting from the corruption going on in the University.

“The resistance you are seeing is because a group of people have decided to do it right.”

According to him, there is a silent majority of members of the University community who fully supported the decision of the council.

He said a secret ballot in the University would reveal that the management led by Ogundipe had been “discredited”.

On the rejection of Ogundipe’s removal by the Senate, Babalakin stated that there was no Senate meeting, adding that: “What you heard was a meeting of some professors.”

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also stressed that the embattled VC was given more than enough opportunity to defend himself, saying; “he had all the opportunity for fair hearing.

“I am a product of the law.

“I follow the law.

“I avoid rabble rousing.

“There was due process in his removal.

“Go and read the law.

“His legal advisers have not done a very thorough job,” he added.

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