Dr. Wale Babalakin has been fingered in the crisis rocking the University of Lagos.
REPORT OF EMERGENCY COUNCIL MEETING
Council members representing Senate attended the emergency Council meeting on 12th August, 2020 to consider the 2020 Budget of the University and other ancillary matters which had been sent to the Pro-Chancellor as far back as Dec. 2019. Then, the Council Chairman changed the order of the agenda by bringing up the report of a sub-committee headed by Dr. Saminu Dagari on university expenditure since 2017. This report had been earlier considered in March 2019 where allegations are made against the Vice Chancellor and others. However, the response of the VC and others had NOT been considered by the Council in plenary.
At this meeting the Pro-chancellor asked the VC and Prof. Ogunsola (DVC Development Services) to excuse themselves despite protestation from them on the need to defend themselves before their accuser. Pro-Chancellor did not accede to their protest and they left. The Pro-Chancellor then asked Dr. Dagari to summarise his findings, which he did and despite that the procedural flaw in not asking another panel to look at the allegations and VC’s response, went ahead and called for a vote on the removal of the VC. He stated that this action was the only step that needs to be taken as a punitive measure against the alleged infractions which had not been proven by another panel.
He decided that members should vote and send it to him by WhatApp for him to collate the votes. While waiting, the Pro-Chancellor left the meeting and returned and called out votes and comments sent to him. Prior to this, the representative of the MOE, Prince Adetokunbo Adebanjo, arrived and asked what was going on and what was the agenda item being discussed. After getting explanation from the Registrar, Prince Adetokunbo Adebanjo raised a point of order that the removal of the VC was not an agenda item. The Pro-Chancellor noted that the MoE came late and could not alter the proceedings. Nevertheless, Prince Adebanjo Adetokunbo voted against removing the VC. At the end, the Pro-Chancellor gave a conflicting votes cast and eventually announced that the votes are 6 for removal 4 against removal, 1 vote to suspend. It is clear that there were abstentions and unclear whether the MoE vote was counted as the number of votes (11) did not add up to members present which was 15 who could vote.
Thereafter, the Senate representatives expressed their serious objections to the procedure and the decision taken and noted the potential for generating disquiet and disharmony in the system. They pointed that the decision was wrong and excused themselves from further consideration of anyone as Acting VC as stated by the Pro-Chancellor. The grounds for their objections are as follows:
i. Failure to properly consider the Dagari report
ii. Failure to follow procedure in dealing with alleged misconduct by the principal officer.
iii. Inconsistency of the votes cast which was not verified by an independent person.
iv. The travesty of justice on the predetermined plan to ridicule and remove the VC by any means possible.
He thereby adjourned the meeting for further consultation with a view of announcing the replacement at another meeting at 5p.m. on the same day.
Prof. F.E.A. Lesi
Prof. B. Oboh
Senate representatives on Council