On Friday, Dr. Wale Babalakin, The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Lagos said that the Council followed due process in the removal of the University’s Vice Chancellor.
Although the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Universities in Nigeria (CVCUN) has condemned the removal of Ogundipe, saying it was done without due process and that he was not given fair hearing, Babalakin said that as regards the laws of the university, voting on contentious issues was either done in secret or in the open.
According to Babalakin, the VC was removed because he allegedly misappropriated the university’s funds.
”We agreed to have a secret ballot that we have always had when there are contentious issues. The votes were counted, they were not just votes, everybody wrote their own comments and I read it out to everybody. “
“The Senate did not have a meeting, because it could not have had one. The authority to call a meeting rests with the Vice-Chancellor and, as at the time he called the meeting, he was no longer Vice-Chancellor.
“Most people don’t know what the powers of the Council are vis-à-vis the removal of the Vice-Chancellor. I assure you that there was full compliance with the law in the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.
“Series of attempts were made to reconcile, but the plain truth is that Professor Ogundipe has been looting the University, and looting it recklessly. That’s the plain truth; we shouldn’t hide it.”
He said members of the Council decided to remove Ogundipe because they “want the best for the university.”
He added: “There is no crisis in UNILAG. What you have is a vocal minority benefiting extensively from the resources of the university.”
The Committee of Vice Chancellors said Prof. Ogundipe should have been given an opportunity to defend himself, adding that the appointment of an acting Vice Chancellor outside the three deputy Vice Chancellors of the institution, goes against the laws establishing Nigerian universities.
However, according to Prof. Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, The Secretary-General of CVCUN said;
”The council has gone ahead to announce a new (acting) Vice-Chancellor; the extant laws state that one of his Deputies should be appointed to act.
UNILAG has three Deputy Vice Chancellors, none of them was appointed as the acting Vice Chancellor and somebody else entirely was appointed.
“This is going to pose another problem because the Senate will not allow such a person to chair their meeting because they don’t know him within the context of laws establishing Universities,”
”He said the ugly situation in UNILAG would not augur well for the administration of Nigerian universities, saying the issues presently favoured the institution’s Senate which is demanding that due process be followed in the removal of the Vice Chancellor. “It is a funny situation,”