Few hours after the announcement of his reinstatement by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has resumed office. Following investigation over allegations of infractions and gross misconduct, Ogundipe was earlier asked to ‘step aside’ by the Visitor of the university. When Ogundipe resumed on Thursday, he was received by members of staff of UNILAG, including top management personnel, at the Senate Building foyer. He urged the workers to allow peace to reign in the institution. “Let us all be united. It is not about the academic or non-academic staff; it is about UNILAG. Let us all work together and allow peace in this institution,” added. 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 August 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. In a bid to return calm to the university, the FG asked both Ogundipe and Babalakin to “step aside”. On Wednesday, Buhari approved the reinstatement of Ogundipe, saying his removal by the Governing Council did not follow due process. This was as the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, UNILAG Branch, lauded the decision of the President to reinstate Ogundipe. The government said the process adopted by the council in the appointment of Prof. Omololu Soyombo as acting Vice Chancellor of the university was inconsistent with the provisions of the law relating to the appointment of an acting Vice Chancellor. Buhari also dissolved Governing Council chaired by Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), who had resigned. Speaking on the development, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, UNILAG branch, Dr Dele Ashiru, described the reinstatement of the ousted Vice-Chancellor (Prof Ogundipe) as a confirmation that his purported removal was not only illegal but vindictive. “We thank the visitor to our university, President Muhammadu Buhari through the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, for this great intervention at the University of Lagos. “The reinstatement of the VC is a confirmation of the position of our union that his purported removal was not only illegal, it was vindictive. It is our conviction that this decision by the government will restore peace, stability, and scholarly progress back to our university,” he told The PUNCH. Also, the Chairman, NASU, UNILAG branch, Kehinde Ajibade, said, “It is a good development; the VC has been vindicated and the majority of members of staff are happy to welcome him back. “The panel did a good job. I advise the VC to place more priority on staff welfare and reconcile some aggrieved members of staff.”
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