VC’s sack legal, insists Babalakin 

Babalakin

The Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin, yesterday, said the ouster of the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, was in order and followed the laws guiding the university.

Babalakin told reporters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal II (MMA2) Lagos, that the embattled VC was found to be financially reckless by the investigating committee.

He insisted that Ogundipe was given fair hearing to make his defence, saying the majority of the Council decided his sack.

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He dismissed the Senate Meeting that passed a vote of confidence on Ogundipe and reinstated him as the VC, describing it as unknown to the law “because the university at that time did not have a VC, rather it was just a meeting of few professors that are beneficiaries of the corrupt system.”

He said instead of Ogundipe making statements against his ouster and “a group of professors” engaging in media propaganda against the position of the Council, “the right approach is for the VC to make his appeal to the Visitor.”

He argued: “Ogundipe cannot on his own declare that he has not been removed as he has tried to do. He cannot on his own decide to confront his employer.

“He cannot while still in office institute an action against his employer. In law, apart from being removed, he has impliedly resigned because if you challenge your employer and you are still in the employment, you have actually left.

“I think the weakness of Ogundipe is that his legal advisers have not done a thorough job. He needs to read the law properly; everything he has done post-removal is a fraud and against the law. It is not in the place of a removed VC to say he has not been removed. He cannot be a judge in his own court.”

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The Pro-Chancellor added that the main allegation in the committee’s report was financial recklessness and appropriations without approvals of the Council.

He noted that the VC’s approval limit within the university’s rules was N2.5 million.

“But without mentioning to anybody, without any approval, Ogundipe spent N49 million renovating the VC’s house.

Under due process, this has to be done with the approval of the Council but he sought no approval. To cover up, he gave the Bursar N41 million to renovate his official residence.

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“Meanwhile, the official residence of the Bursar today can be built with N41 million from the scratch and that was what he spent on renovation. Investigation also found that he exceeded his authority recklessly in financial management. Ogundipe was paying security vote to the Dean of Students Affairs without anybody authorising it. Is he a governor?

“They may tell you that the Pro-Chancellor has not passed the budget. But the budget of Unilag is not a true and fair account of the expenses of the university. It has been a battle. Till now, the budget of Unilag is not a fair reflection of the account of the university.

“When we got there, we discovered that the account of the university were in tatters and could not be put together by the university. A member of Council paid to bring in a consultant to look at the account and make it presentable. What he reported was disturbing,” Babalakin added.

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