UNILAG Crisis

Buhari Intervenes in UNILAG crisis orders Ogundipe and Wale Babalakin Suspension

The Government of Nigeria headed by Muhammadu Buhari has finally intervened in the crisis rocking the University of Lagos UNILAG.

Buhari directed Wale Babalakin, pro-chancellor and chairman, governing council of the University of Lagos, to recuse himself from official duties relating to the institution.

Ben Goong, spokesman of the ministry of education, broke the news in a statement on Friday.

Goong said Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was also directed to recuse himself as vice-chancellor, adding that a panel has been set up to probe the crisis rocking UNILAG.

The panel chaired by  Tukur Sa’ad, former vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, as chairman, has  Victor Onuoha, Ikenna Oyindo, Ekanem Braide, Adamu Usman, and Jimoh Bankole as members.

The governing council had removed Ogundipe over alleged financial misappropriation and abuse of office.

But Ogundipe kicked against his removal, saying due process was not followed.

He had filed a lawsuit at the national industrial court to challenge his removal.

But on Friday, Ogundipe withdrew the suit which had as defendants: UNILAG, Babalakin, UNILAG senate; Oladejo Azeez, the institution’s registrar; and Theophilus Soyombo, the acting VC.

In a statement issued after the suit was withdrawn, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Ogundipe’s counsel, his client took the step after consulting stakeholders and supporters within and outside the institution.

Adegboruwa discredited claims that the court has commenced action on the ex-parte application.

“Contrary to the falsehood being peddled by mischief makers, the National Industrial Court has never sat or conduct any proceedings in respect of the court case filed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwole Ogundipe,” the statement read.

“No court proceedings ever took place at all and so no decision or ruling has been rendered by the court. Indeed, upon detailed consultation with all stakeholders and his supporters in and outside the university, Prof Ogundipe directed his lawyers to file a notice of discontinuance of the suit and this has been done on August 21, 2020.

“This is to defer to the authority of the President as the Visitor of the university as Prof Ogundipe has enough time to challenge his purported removal. This falsehood is being spread to malign the court and blackmail the judiciary by enemies of the rule of law and due process.”

UNILAG crisis: ‘Sacked’ VC withdraws court case

Unilag crisis
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Professor Oluwole Ogundipe has discontinued a suit challenging his ‘removal’ as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos.

Ogundipe’s decision followed his deference to the authority of President Muhammadu Buhari as the varsity’s Visitor, his lawyers said on Friday.

According to a statement by a member of his legal team, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, the don stated the National Industrial Court, which he earlier approached, had neither sat nor conducted any proceedings in respect of the court case.

Ogundipe was last Wednesday purportedly removed as UNILAG VC by the institution’s Council, chaired by SAN and businessman, Wale Babalakin.

In a statement, Adegboruwa said: “Contrary to the falsehood being peddled by mischief makers, the National Industrial Court has never sat or conduct any proceedings in respect of the court case filed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwole Ogundipe.

“No court proceedings ever took place at all and so no decision or ruling has been rendered by the court.

“Indeed, upon detailed consultation with all stakeholders and his supporters in and outside the University, Professor Ogundipe directed his Lawyer’s to file a notice of discontinuance of the suit and this has been done on August 21, 2020.

“This is to defer to the authority of the President as the Visitor of the University as Professor Ogundipe has enough time to challenge his purported removal.

“This falsehood is being spread to malign the court and blackmail the judiciary by enemies of the rule of law and due process.

“The general public is therefore advised to discountenance these mindless fabrications as the handiwork of those who are afraid of subjecting their illegal acts to the true test of probity and to be wary of fake news being peddled in place of truth, especially as they relate to deliberate manipulation of court proceedings.

“There was no time that the court sat to fix any date for the case.”

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