A Senate member of the University of Lagos and former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Ayo Olowe, has urged all stakeholders in the institution to work with the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Omololu Soyombo.
Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice Chancellor of the institution, was removed by the varsity’s Governing Council during a meeting presided over by Wale Babalakin, its Pro-chancellor and Chairman, last week.
The Council had thereafter named Soyombo as Acting VC in a decision that many stakeholders claimed ridiculed the university’s rules as didn’t follow procedures.
In a statement on Tuesday, Prof Olowe said, “Going by the public disclosure, this matter has been on since 2018. Senate became aware of this matter in early 2019 when the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers were queried on allegation of various corrupt practices. Senate relied only on the information at their disposal and could not take action since the person being accused was the Chairman of the Senate.
“The Vice Chancellor was unanimously removed by Council on Wednesday August 12, 2020 through a vote of six for removal and 4 against removal. Some of the Senate representatives participated in this election. If they believe due process had not been followed, they should not have participated in the voting exercise.
“The university is owned by the government who exercised his authority and powers over it through the Governing Council. Consequently, the Council is the employer of all staff including the Vice Chancellor.
“They have immediately appointed a reputable member of the university, Prof Omololu Soyombo as Acting Vice Chancellor. Since no permanent Vice Chancellor has been appointed, the ideal thing for us is to work with the Acting Vice Chancellor towards the resolution of the impasse.
“The appointment of an Acting Vice Chancellor is an opportunity for Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to prove his innocence. If Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has been wrongly dismissed, he can protest to the Council for them to revisit the case. He can also protest to the Visitor.
“The choice of Prof Omololu Soyombo by Council is a good one. He is a man of peace and proven integrity in the university. He is gentle, reliable and trustworthy. I have full confidence in his ability to resolve the current impasse in the university.
“I hereby plead and appeal to ASUU and other unions to embrace and cooperate with the new Acting Vice Chancellor to give opportunity for the current impasse to be resolved.”