Govt appoints Momoh acting UNILAG council chair


The federal government of Nigeria has appointed the Chairman and CEO of Channels Television, John Momoh, as acting chairman of the governing council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka.

Mr Momoh, who is the president of the institution’s alumni association, has been a member of the council representing the association.

His appointment follows the exclusion of lawyer and businessman, Wale Babalakin, from the role over the leadership crisis in the university.

In a letter addressed to the ace broadcaster dated 21st August, 2020, and signed by the permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, Momoh was directed to convene an emergency meeting of the council to “consider and, if found suitable, approve the senate nomination of the acting Vice-Chancellor for University of Lagos, in line with the enabling Act.”

The letter which is referenced; FME/PS/606/C.I/III/129, is titled; “Emergency Meeting of the Governing Council of University of Lagos.”

It further reads in part; “You are to preside at the meeting in the absence of the substantive pro-chancellor/chairman of council who has had to recuse himself in line with the visitor’s directive.

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“You are to also submit a report on the decision of the council to the visitor through the honourable minister of education immediately thereafter.”

The Senate of UNILAG on Monday elected Professor Folasade Ogunsola as acting vice-chancellor based on the presidential directive in a bid to find a lasting resolution to the crisis that was heralded with the removal of the substantive vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe on 12th August.

It is expected that an emergency governing council meeting will hold today (Tuesday) ahead of Wednesday’s planned inauguration of the visitation panel to the university, which was set up by the visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The panel is expected to review the controversies rocking the university, including a report that indicted the embattled vice-chancellor, Ogundipe, of “financial recklessness, gross misconduct,” among other allegations.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also formally notified the National Universities Commission (NUC) of the directives of the president, and urged the regulatory body to make arrangements for the inauguration of the panel ahead of Wednesday, including provision of accommodation for nominated members who are based outside Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

A letter addressed to the executive secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, and referenced; FME/PS/606/CI/III/128, directed the commission to give effect to the president’s directives “and ensure strict compliance.”

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The letter, a copy of which this newspaper obtained, is entitled; “Re: Special Visitation Panel to University of Lagos.” It reads in part; “The registrar/secretary to the senate as well as the council should immediately should immediately convene the meetings of the two (2) organs of the university to nominate and confirm the appointment of an acting vice chancellor, respectively; and

“The acting vice-chancellor shall oversee the affairs of the university pending government’s decision on the report of the special visitation panel.”

Meanwhile, the NUC, in response to the directive, on Friday, notified the university’s registrar, Oladejo Azeez, of the development via a letter with reference, NUC/ES/134/VOL.24/432, and entitled; ““Re: Special Visitation Panel to University of Lagos.”

NUC requested the registrar to “honour and ensure full compliance with the directives of the visitor, as appropriate.”

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