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Unilag vs Ogundipe: Sacked VC writes Ozekhome to begin legal fireworks

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The Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was sacked on Wednesday by the Governing Council of the University has written to the Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Mike Ozekhome to institute legal action against the University Management immediately.

In a letter which was sighted by CAPITAL POST in Abuja and addressed to Mike Ozekhome Chambers, titled: “Instruction to institute legal action against the Council and Pro-Chancellor and others of the University of Lagos Akoka” , he said, he was illegally removed from office, hence the lawyer should commence action.

In a followed up statement which Mike Ozekhome Chambers issued on Thursday, said he would challenge the management of the University of Lagos over the sack of his client, alleging that his sack was in breach of all known laws.

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The statement reads: “The Council headed by Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN, had allegedly sacked the very hardworking VC at an emergency meeting held at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, on 12th August, 2020.

“The VC is saying that the Council breached all known rules of natural justice and section 36 of the 1999 Constitution in purportedly removing him as VC, as he was never heard at all, or ever made to face any panel or Committee to defend himself against allegations of his alleged unauthorised expenditure of University funds leading to his purported removal from office.

“It will be recalled that even the House of Representatives had on 17th August, 2019, completely exonerated him of any wrongdoing after hearing from both the Babalakin-led Council and Prof Ogundipe.

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“Breaking News yesterday had highlighted that journalists and cameras were already positioned at strategic places at the NUC before the emergency meeting in what was believed to have been a premeditated done – deal.

The Vice Chancellor was observed by journalists leaving the venue of the meeting with another Council member, Prof Bola Oboh, when they protested in vain that the main issue for discussion at the emergency meeting was not the VC’s investigation or removal which was item 5 on the agenda.

“It is believed that even the representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Prince Adetokunbo Adebanjo had also protested the proceedings, and voted against the VC’s removal by WhatsApp message as was directed by Dr Baba Lakin.

“One of the issues in contention apart from denial of fair hearing is that the voting process was fundamentally flawed as votes of those who voted against the VC’s removal like Prince Adebanjo were allegedly not counted.

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“The Unilag Act available to us makes it clear that the VC must first be tried by a joint Committee of the Senate and Council before any recommendation for his removal is sent to the Council for debate and action.

“Even then, the Council cannot remove him without the Senate first concurring, all of which were said never to have taken place at all.

The Registrar of the University and Secretary to Council, Oladejo Azeez, Esq, had immediately published a “Notice to the General Public on the Removal of the Vice Chancellor University of Lagos”.

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