The cloud of discord that enveloped the University of Lagos, Akoka seems to be coursing home following the appointment an acting Vice Chancellor to oversse the activities of the 58-year-old institution in the country.
After months of hullabaloo, Senate members of the University of Lagos Monday elected Professor Folasade Ogunsola as the acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
Mrs Ogunsola, a professor of medical microbiology and first child of Nigeria’s first professor of Geography, Akin Mabogunje, was also the first female provost of the university’s college of medicine, Idi-Araba.
She defeated her opponent and a deputy vice-chancellor in charge of management services, Ben Oghojafor, with a wide margin. She scored 135 votes as against Oghojafor’s 31 among the senate members.
A total of 167 professors were accredited for voting while one vote was voided, according to PREMIUM TIMES.
Until her election, Ogunsola, the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Development Services, was also the provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
She is the principal investigator at AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) at the University of Lagos and has been the chairman of the Infection Control Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Ogunsola is expected to act in the new role until the outcome of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
This election follows the Federal Government’s directive that the University’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Wale Babalakin, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the panel.
The Federal Government gave the directive last Friday in a press statement signed by the Federal Ministry of Education spokesman, Ben Goong.
It states, “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.
Babalakin’s Governing Council had, on August 12, sacked Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct.
Ogundipe, who rejected the Council’s decision on the basis that the University’s due process had not been followed, headed to court for redress.
The University’s Senate, alumni, and labour unions also put out statements saying the due process had not been followed.
But Babalakin, in several media reactions, insisted that due process had been complied with in terminating Ogundipe’s appointment.
The Presidential Panel, made up of seven members, is expected to determine whether the required steps were taken by the Council in sacking Ogundipe.
They are also expected “to make appropriate recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable” in the investigation, which is expected to last for two weeks.”
The panel will be inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on August 26.
Members of the panel include Professor Tukur Sa’ad (Chairman), Barrister Victor Onuoha, Professor Ikenna Onyido, Professor Ekanem Braide, Professor Adamu K. Usman, Chief Jimoh Bankole and Barrister Grace Ekanem (Secretary).
In her acceptance speech, Mrs Ogunsola, thanked the professors for entrusting her with what she described as a huge responsibility.
University’s Registrar Kicks
However, Oladejo Azzez, the University’s Registrar, had earlier in a memo addressed to the head of the management of the university’s auditorium did not want the venue to be made available for the Senate meeting.
A copy of the memo noted “No meeting of senate has been summoned. Members should await proper notice of meeting after the federal government of Nigeria has clarified some issues germane to the meeting.”
“It follows that you are not to make any of your facilities available for any meeting until otherwise advised,” the memo added.