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UNILAG: Babalakin accuses panel of bias, resigns as Pro-Chancellor

Shortly after the Federal Government promised to look into the findings submitted by the Special Visitation Panel it set up to look into the management crisis at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) has resigned as Pro-Chancellor of the varsity.

The Special Visitation Panel was set up to look into the crisis rocking UNILAG, following the removal of its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by its Governing Council headed by Babalakin. Babalakin, in a resignation letter he submitted to the Minister of Education and copied President Muhammadu Buhari, accused the panel of bias during the visit, stating there were too many vested interests in the issues which has been bedevilling UNILAG.

He also resigned as the chairman of the negotiation committee on the Federal Government and university workers’ unions, saying he would no longer be available for the role he had been playing since 2017 without a headway. Faulting the panel’s terms of reference, he alleged that the visitation panel was only raised to exonerate the Vice-Chancellor and implicate the Pro-Chancellor, adding that although he had appeared before the panel protesting, he had made it clear the panel would not be able to determine the issues before it.

Babalakin said: “I only appeared before the Panel out of my very great respect for you, Sir. My training as a lawyer revealed to me very clearly, that the Panel was inappropriate for the assignment. “During my appearance, I made it very clear that I was appearing in protest and the Panel, as constituted, could not determine the issues before it. The active participation of the staff of the Ministry of Education in the Panel and their contributions throughout the sittings, especially the hounding of witnesses who came to testify against the Vice- Chancellor, was enough to show very clearly that the technocrats in the Ministry had a defined agenda. “Their obvious agenda was to humiliate the Governing Council.

Sir, fortunately there is a verbatim recording of the proceedings of the Visitation Panel, and you may wish to direct objective persons to listen to the recording. “…Unfortunately, I must stand by principle. In a situation where my employers believe that the actions I took may not be right, the appropriate thing to do is bow out in honour. Sir, may the Almighty Allah continue to bless you.”

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