Babalakin faults education minister on dissolution of UNILAG governing council

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The embattled pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, has faulted the decision of the education minister, Adamu Adamu, on the dissolution of UNILAG’s governing council.

Mr Babalakin, who resigned from the position on September 17, said the council that was dissolved could not have been the one chaired by him.

In a letter addressed to the education minister on October 16 and signed by Mr Babalakin’s spokesperson, Mikail Mumini, Mr Babalakin said the dissolution is coming two months after his resignation.

“The council that was dissolved could not have been the one chaired by Dr. B.O. Babalakin SAN as you erroneously stated in your press release, since he had resigned his appointment on September 17, 2020. This is at least two months before your press release was made. If there was any council to be dissolved at all, it must have been the one chaired by Mr John Momoh,” he said.

Premium Times reported how the federal government dissolved the governing council of the university, formerly chaired by Wale Babalakin and reinstated the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe following the submission of the investigative panel’s report.

In his reaction, the spokesperson of the federal ministry of education, Ben Gooong, said Mr Babalakin’s reaction is academic.

“Babalakin is the suspended chairman of the governing council.”

“What Babalakin is saying is academic. As at the time when that special panel was set up, Babalakin was the chairman of the council and the government asked him to step aside. So in the eyes of the government, in the eyes of the law, Babalakin was the suspended chairman.

“John Momoh was simply the caretaker pending the outcome of the panel and if Bablakin purportedly said he resigned, the government did not say a word about his resignation. Did you hear the government say anything?” he inquired.

The beginning

PREMIUM TIMES reported on the crisis that led to the controversial removal of Mr Ogundipe as the vice-chancellor by the Wale Babalakin-led governing council of the university on August 12.

Mr Ogundipe was removed during a council meeting in Abuja, as he was accused of financial impropriety and gross misconduct.

Mr Babalakin, however, resigned his position as the chair of the negotiation committee on the federal government and universities’ workers’ unions.

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The federal government then dissolved the governing council of the university, formerly chaired by Wale Babalakin and reinstated the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, following the submission of the investigative panel’s report.

The federal government had set up a visitation panel in September to investigate the matter, although Mr Babalakin faulted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a visitation panel for the University of Lagos.

The panel was set up after the August 12 emergency meeting of the university’s governing council, led by Mr Babalakin, announced the removal of the institution’s substantive vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

Mr Ogundipe rejected his removal as illegal, thus worsening the crisis in the federal university for whom the president is the visitor.

Due to the controversy, Mr Buhari asked both Messers Babalakin and Ogundipe to step aside from their offices.

Meanwhile, the government did not make the details of the white papers submitted by the panel available before reinstating the UNILAG VC and dissolving the governing council.



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