UNILAG crisis: FG asks Babalakin, VC to step aside

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A new twist has been added to the crisis bedeviling the University of Lagos (UNILAG) with the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to direct key players in the controversies to recuse themselves from office.

The Government on Friday directed the institution’s Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council, Dr Wale Babalakin and the embattled Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to vacate office pending outcome of ongoing investigation.

The directives came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari constituted a special visitation panel to look into the ongoing crisis rocking the institution and that the panel should submit it report in another two weeks.

It would be recalled that the face-off rocking the institution reached its climax on 12th August when Babalakin-led council sacked Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct.

Announcing the directives through a statement signed Federal Ministry of Education spokesman, Ben Goong on Friday, the government explained that recusing themselves from official duties would aid the special visitation panel set up by the President to unravel reasons for the crisis.

“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,” the statement added.

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With this new directive the tenureship of the acting vice-chancellor, Theophilus Soyombo, who resumed office barely seven days ago may end in the days ahead.

Members of the panel are Prof Tukur Sa’ad (chairman), Barr Victor Onuoha (member), Prof Ikenna Oyindo ( member ), Prof Ekanem Braide ( member), Prof Adamu Usman (member), Chief Jimoh Bankole (member) and Barr Grace Ekanem (secretary).

The Visitation Panel is to look into the crisis in the university and report within two weeks.

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