Wale Babalakin, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Akoka, has explained why Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was removed as the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
Babalakin while addressing journalists at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, said Ogundipe was sacked due to gross misappropriation of funds and reckless looting of resources.
Giving a breakdown of events on the day that the former VC was removed, he said under UNILAG laws, voting can be done in secret or open ballot.
He said, “The votes were counted with each council members’ comments. Everyone voted, they didn’t just vote but they made comments and I read out all the comments.
“Go and read the law, what the law said is that when a Vice Chancellor is removed and you have a complaint, you will write an appeal to the visitor. He cannot on his own declare that he has not been removed as Ogundipe has done. He cannot on his own confront his employers. In law, he has resigned because if you challenge your employer and you are still in his employment, you have actually left.
“The weakness of Ogundipe is that his legal advisers have not done a very thorough job. There is no stalemate and there is no chaos in the university because the law would take its course. It is not in the place of the removed VC to say he has not been removed. He cannot be a judge in his own court. He cannot on his own declare that he has not been removed. He cannot on his own decide to confront his employer.
“Prof Ogundipe has been looting the university and looting it recklessly, that’s the plain truth that we should not hide. There is misappropriation and there is direct looting of the university. All attempts were made to put an end to this.
“The former VC spent N49m renovating his house. Under the process, this has to be done with approval from the council, he sought no approval. To cover up, he gave the bursar N41m to renovate his official residence. The official residence of the bursar can be built for N41m from the scratch, this was what was spent on renovation.
“He cannot on his own declare that he has not been removed. He cannot on his own decide to confront his employer.
“Prof Ogundipe has been looting the university and looting it recklessly, that’s the plain truth that we should not hide.
“There is misappropriation and there is direct looting of the university. All attempts were made to put an end to this."
Meanwhile a group, Concerned Stakeholders of UNILAG, has hailed the Governing Council over Ogundipe’s removal.
The group said the Council was adequately equiped by the enabling Act and laws of the university as amended, to hire and fire the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers of the university.
“We, the Concerned Stakeholders of the great and highly prestigious University of Lagos, hereby heave a sigh of relief and congratulates all stakeholders of the university as the university Governing Council under the able leadership of Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), finally wakes up to its avowed responsibility by doing the needful to rescue our dear University of first choice from the inglorious impunity of financial and adminstrative recklessness it has been subjected to in the very recent past under the inept, corrupt and disoriented management leadership of the immediate past Vice Chancellor in the person of Prof Ogundipe.
The group said, “We really symphatise with the disgruntled noisemakers in the university community who are unwittingly expressing solidarity with the out-gone Vice Chancellor despite the obvious and glaring allegations of corrupt practices and malfeseance. By their actions, they are giving active credence to lawlessness, impunity, insolence, corruption.
“The university council is adequately equiped by the enabling Act and laws of the university as amended, to hire and fire the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers of the university. And, as to the question of due process and fair hearing, the investigative panels earlier set up by the Council had consisted of the university Senate/Council members who had given the ex Vice Chancellor and others the ample opportunity to defend themselves.
“We hereby congratulate the Acting Vice Chancellor, in the very person of Prof Theophilus Omololu Soyombo, even as we wish him a successful tenure to turn things around pending the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor by the Council.”