I Have Resumed As Acting VC — Soyombo
Ogundipe must be investigated — Babalakin
Alleges Ogundipe renovated official quarters for N49m without approval
Professor Theophilus Omotunde Soyombo, who was appointed the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, on Wednesday by the Governing Council of the university, has said he has resumed duties.
Speaking in a telephone conversation, the Professor of Sociology, said he resumed office because the letter of appointment given him by the Council notified him to do so with immediate effect.
Though he would not say whether he has physically resumed at the 11th Floor, Senate Building office of the VC, he said he would communicate the public later on the situation.
However, Saturday Vanguard gathered that other things being equal, Soyombo would be in the Senate Building on Monday.
However, the Chairman of the Council, Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN, while briefing newsmen at the Ikeja Airport in Lagos, accused Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe of exceeding his approval powers on a number of occasions.
The, therefore, called on the necessary agencies of government to investigate Ogundipe.
“The financial guidelines of the University of Lagos give the Vice-Chancellor the power to spend not more than N2.5 million in some instances without the approval of the Governing Council and anything higher must be brought to the Council for approval. “However, Ogundipe spent N49 million to renovate his official quarters without anybody approving that.
“He also approved N41 million for the Bursar to renovate his official quarters too. That is unacceptable. He must be investigated. We need to do that for us to start building the university. I can tell you that when we probed the account of the university, it was in tatters,” he said.
On the claim that due process was not followed in the removal of Ogundipe as VC, Babalakin said “as a product of law, I don’t engage in things that will trample the law. Due process was followed. When the Council set up a committee to look into the finances of the university since we came on board, the report indicated a number of people including Ogundipe.
‘He wrote a reply and even spoke for over one hour defending himself. The law of the university is clear on how some officers can be removed from office. During Wednesday’s meeting, the issue was put to vote and we can do open ballot or secret ballot as we used to do on contentious issues.
“The people not only voted, but they added their comments. I also not only read out the votes, but the comments put in by everyone. I can tell you that nobody faulted what was read out as not what they wrote.”
On the stance of staff unions in the university rejecting the appointment of an acting VC, Babalakin stated that only a few vocal people benefiting from the current dispensation were doing that.
” If you go to the campus now and do a secret ballot of how popular Ogundipe administration is, you would see that it is unpopular. What was going on was misappropriation and looting of the scarce resources of the school,” he noted.
On whether the supervising Federal Ministry of Education was in support of the action taken, Babalakin explained that he had not heard anything condemning or faulting the action from the ministry.
Recall that on Wednesday the Governing Council at its meeting in Abuja removed Ogundipe as the VC of the UNILAG.
In his stead, Soyombo was appointed as the Acting Vice-Chancellor.
The development was a culmination of the faceoff between Ogundipe and Babalakin on the running of the university and about certain decisions being taken.
Ogundipe has since gone to court to challenge the action.