August 21, 2020

UNILAG: Buhari sets up Special Visitation Panel

*Asks Babalakin, Ogundipe to step aside pending outcome
*Directs Governing Council to nominate acting VC pending reports of visitation panel


By Joseph Erunke

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has set up a Special Visitation Panel to look into the circumstances that led to the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

The seven-member panel,headed by Prof. Tukur Sa’ad is directed by the president to conclude its report and submit recommendations within two weeks.

The Director, Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Education, Bem Goong, hinted late Friday night that the president, in setting up of the panel, asked the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council of the University of Lagos, Dr B.O. Babalakin and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to recuse themselves from official duty.

A statement released by Mr Goong, read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has set up a Special Visitation Panel to look into the crisis at the University of Lagos and submit a report of their recommendations within two weeks.

“The members of the panel are as follows: Professor Tukur Sa’ad-Chairman; Barrister Victor Onuohar, member; Professor Ikenna Onyido, member; Professor Ekanem Braids, member; Professor Adamu K. Usman, member; Chief Jimoh Bankole, member; Barrister Grace Ekanem, member.

“The panel was given the following terms of reference:

“To review the report of the council’s subcommittee on review of expenditure of University of Lagos since May 2017 and make appropriate recommendations after affording those indicted an opportunity to defend themselves.

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“To examine the step taken by the council leading to the removal of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and ascertaining whether due process was followed as stipulated in the universities(Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act,2003 and the principle of fair hearing adhered to.

“To determine whether the process (if any) leading to the appointment of the Age. Vice-Chancellor for the university was consistent with the provisions of the enabling Act.

” To make appropriate recommendations including sanctions to all those found culpable by the special Vlvisitation team on the allegations contained in the report as well as other subsequent actions arising from therefrom and to make any other recommendations that will assist the government to make decisions that will ensure peaceful, stable and efficient administration of the university.

“Government directs the Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of Council, Dr B.O. Babalakin and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to recuse themselves from official duties during the period of the visitation.

“Government also directs the Senate of the University of Lagos to immediately convene to nominate an acting Vice-Chancellor from amongst its members for confirmation by the Governing Council. He/she shall oversee the affairs of the university pending Government’ decision (s) on the Report of the Special Visitation Panel.

“The Special Visitation Panel shall be inaugurated by the Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, at the Honourable Minister’s Conference Room on Wednesday,26 August 2020 at 9:00 am.”