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….As Senate Backs Ogundipe, Urges Buhari to Sack Council

A source has said Dr Wale Babalakin was bent on sacking UNILAG VC to pave way for his practise of awarding contracts to himself and his cronies.

The source who was close to the administration of the University of Lagos claimed Babalakin, who is the University Governing Council Chairman, and the embattled Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe fell apart after the latter rebuffed Babalakin’s several attempts to take over the headship of the University’s tenders board in breach of the law, TheConscienceNG reports.

Our correspondent gathers that relevant laws guiding the administration of the citadel of learning stipulates that the VC chairs the tenders board.

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“Whoever heads the Tenders Board wields enormous influence over procurement and awards of contracts in the University administration. This is why the Chairman wants the Vice Chancellor out to enable him have total control over contracts in UNILAG.

“Moreover, it is Dr Wale Babalakin’s practice at any institution he heads to take forceful leadership over the Tenders Board even when it contradicts the Law, ” the source told TheConscienceNG.

Meanwhile, the Senate of UNILAG has expressed support for the embattled Vice Chancellor, Professor Ogundipe and condemned his purported removal.

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Dr Wale Babalakin led Governing Council had purportedly sacked Professor Ogundipe as Vice Chancellor of the institution after a call for vote on Wednesday over alleged financial mismanagement.

But the action has attracted wide criticisms among the University stakeholders, including the University Senate, Academic Staff Union and Parents Forum.

Rising from an emergency meeting on Thursday, chaired by Professor Chioma Agomo, the university’s senate condemned the move by the Council and declared it as illegal.

UNILAG Senate also pulled its weight behind Professor Ogundipe, rejected the appointment of Professor Soyombo as acting vice-chancellor and passed a vote of no confidence on the Babalakin-led governing council.

The Senate further called on the University Visitor, President Mohammed Buhari for immediate dissolution of the Governing Council.

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In a statement isgned by six members, the Senate noted that, “Due process was not followed in the purported removal of Ogundipe and appointment of the acting vice chancellor as the Senate was neither informed nor invited to forward its recommendation to council.

“Its functions and its powers have been completely appropriated by the Council in breach of the law.

“Senate resolved to reaffirm its confidence in Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, as the substantive Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos,” the statement said.

The statement was signed by the Senate chairman, Chioma Agomo, and five other members: Dele Olowokudejo, Oluwole Atoyebi, Folasade Akinsola, Lucian Chukwu and Ayodele Atsenuwa.

Meanwhile, apart from the Senate, various staff unions have also kicked against the removal and took a solidarity March with the embattled vice chancellor on Thursday, charging the council to rescind its decision on Ogundipe.

Also, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, National Association of Academic Technologists, and Non-Academic Staff Union — called on the ministry of education and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to intervene in the crisis.

It was also gathered that Ogundipe had moved to challenge his removal in court.  His tenure which started in 2017 was to last till 2022.

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