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UNILAG: Council names Soyombo acting VC

Senate rejects action
Ogundipe: My travail, a challenge

The Governing Council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has named Prof. Theophilus Omololu Soyombo, of the Faculty of Social Sciences as the new vice-chancellor of the institution in acting capacity. The appointment of Soyombo yesterday by the Governing Council led by the Chairman/Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Wale Babalakin, followed the sacking of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on Wednesday during an emergency meeting of the council held at the NUC Conference Hall, Abuja. But Ogundipe had since described his purported sack as a charade, saying in a release he personally signed on Wednesday that he still remained the vice-chancellor of the university.

He further said in the statement, which was entitled; “Re: Notice to the General Public on the Removal of the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos by Oladejo Azeez, Esq,” that “The attention of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) management has been drawn to the ‘Notice to the General Public on the Removal of the Vice- Chancellor, University of Lagos,’ dated August 12, 2020 and signed by Oladejo Azeez, Esq, Registrar and Secretary to Council, stating that the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, has been removed from office with immediate effect.

“Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe still remains UNILAG’s Vice-Chancellor,” the statement added, saying: “This is untrue and a figment of his imagination. Therefore, stakeholders of UNILAG and the general public are advised to disregard this mischievous disinformation about the sitting Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, contained in that notice. Professor Ogundipe still remains Unilag’s Vice-Chancellor.” Reacting further to his removal yesterday, Ogundipe said the UNILAG crisis presented a challenge, and an opportunity to attain higher level, even as the embattled vice-chancellor had again rejected his removal by the council. Ogundipe, while addressing some members of staff of the institution on campus yesterday said that he was not moved by the whole crisis as he remained committed to the development of the university.

He, however, described his present predicament as an opportunity to attain a higher level, saying: “I have dedicated most of my life to this university, as Head of Unit, as Head of Department, as Dean of Post-Graduate School, as Director of Academic Planning, as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. “I have dedicated my life and will be dedicating my life to the movement of this university to a higher level. “Let us maintain peace. I see it as a point for moving me upward; I see it as a challenge that will throw me to a higher level. And every one of us will not miss our own opportunity.” Meanwhile, Soyombo’s appointment was announced in a statement issued yesterday by the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Oladejo Azeez, tagged: “Re: Notice to the General Public on the Removal of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Akoka- Lagos.” Oladejo in the statement said: “My attention has been drawn to a document circulating under the hand and signature of the former Vice- Chancellor of University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe. The letter purports to deny his removal by the Governing Council of University at its Emergency Meeting of Wednesday, August 12, 2020. “For the avoidance of doubt, I, in my capacity as Registrar and Secretary to Council, the only custodian of the minutes of Council and the authorizing officer on behalf of Council, to issue official statements pertaining to all Council affairs.

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