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Suspended UNILAG VC may be reinstated today - Officials

Suspended Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, may be reinstated today (Wednesday), The PUNCH has learnt.


Officials at UNILAG and the Ministry of Education confirmed the development to our correspondent.

The PUNCH learnt the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, is expected to announce Ogundipe’s reinstatement at a press conference on Wednesday.

It was gathered that the press conference would hold in Abuja at 12pm.

According to one of the officials who works in the office of the VC, Ogundipe is aware of the Federal Government’s plan to reinstate him.

“We are all expecting the official announcement. He received a call from Abuja already,” the official who prefers anonymity said.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, confirmed that the minister would be addressing the press on Ogundipe’s suspension.

When asked if Ogundipe has been reinstated, he said, “I can’t say yes or no. The minister will be addressing the media tomorrow (Wednesday). By then, you will get the information you need.”

Efforts to reach Ogundipe proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.

Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Lagos, Wale Babalakin, and Ogundipe, were directed to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on August 21, 2020.

The UNILAG’s Governing Council, headed by Babalakin had removed Ogundipe at its meeting in Abuja on Aug. 12, over allegations of infractions and gross misconduct.

The council, however, appointed Prof. Theophilus Omololu Soyombo of the Faculty of Social Sciences as the Acting Vice-Chancellor.

But Ogundipe denied the allegations and subsequently approached the court to challenge his removal.

Also, the institution’s Senate and its staff unions condemned Ogundipe’s removal, saying it flouted the university’s regulations.

They passed a vote of confidence in Ogundipe and vowed not to recognise the acting vice-chancellor.

In a bid to return calm to the university, the FG asked both Ogundipe and Babalakin to “step aside”.

The FG’s directive came a few hours after Ogundipe dropped a lawsuit he filed at the National Industrial Court to challenge his sacking by the varsity’s Governing Council.

The suit, marked NICN/LA/278/2020, had as defendants: UNILAG; the varsity’s Council; its Senate; Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN); Registrar, Oladejo Azeez; and Soyombo, who was appointed acting VC in the wake of Ogundipe’s controversial sacking.

A few days after the Visitation panel submitted its findings to the FG, Babalakin resigned as the UNILAG Pro-Chancellor.


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