The National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos has struck out two cases in respect of the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Justice Jeremiah Essien struck out the suits on Tuesday following the formal withdrawal of the applications filed by lawyers in relation to the crisis.
One of the suits was filed by Professor Olutoyin Ogundipe to challenge his removal as the vice-chancellor by the Governing Council under the chairmanship of Dr. Wale Babalakin – a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The other suit was filed by the Senate of the university to challenge Professor Ogundipe’s removal and his replacement with Professor Theophilus Soyombo by the governing council.
In the first case, Professor Ogundipe’s lawyers, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), told the court that their client had filed a notice of discontinuance.
The lawyers also drew the attention of the court to certain news reports in the media which falsely indicated that the court sat on Friday last week and refused an ex-parte application filed by Professor Ogundipe.
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A file photo of a court gavel.
Justice Essien dismissed the news and said that since he did not sit on the case formally, such a report must be part of the fake news menace currently plaguing the nation.
Professor Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), who represented the university’s Senate, also applied for the withdrawal of the suit filed by the Senate.
There was no objection to the withdrawal of both suits by Mr Tola Oshobi (SAN), who represented Dr Babalakin in both cases.
Following the applications for withdrawal, Justice Essien struck out the suits.
He encouraged authorities of the institution to resolve the raging controversy amicably, stressing that such was not good for the image of a university.
The judge also said he was glad that the parties elected to withdraw the suit, thereby saving him from having to make pronouncements.