President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate reinstallment of Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), following his acknowledgment of the recommendations of the special Presidential Visitation Panel constituted on the issue.
The directive was handed down by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr. Ben Goong, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, Ogundipe was removed by the Governing Council of UNILAG during its meeting at the National Universities Commission (NUC) headquarters on August 12 and replaced him with Prof. Omololu Soyombo as Acting VC.
Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was appointed as the vice-chancellor of UNILAG in November 2017, was accused of financial impropriety, gross misconduct, and abuse of office.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari created a special Presidential Visitation Panel to look into the removal of Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor of the University by the Governing Council, chaired then by Dr. Wale Babalakin.
A retired professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Boniface Oye-Adeniran, had asked the EFCC to investigate Ogundipe, Acting VC, Prof Folashade Ogunshola; Bursar of the university, Mr. Lekan Lawal; and Director of Procurement of the institution, Dr. James Akamu.
Oye-Adeniran in a petition to the anti-graft agency accused Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and his management team of awarding contracts amounting to N5bn without the approval of the governing council of the institution, awarding contracts beyond his N2.5m approval limit and breaching the Public Procurement Act between 2017 and 2020.
In a letter dated November 2, 2020, to the Acting VC of the institution, EFCC confirmed that it had already commenced an investigation into the activities of the suspended VC and others.
But President Buhari in a statement on Wednesday by the spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, announced the reinstatement of Ogundipe, who was suspended in August.
The President also dissolved the Governing Council of the university, formerly chaired by Wale Babalakin.
The statement reads, “The Vice-Chancellor was not granted an opportunity to defend himself on the allegations upon which his removal was based. He should accordingly be reinstated.
”All allegations made against the Vice-Chancellor and the management of the university before and after the constitution of the Special Visitation Panel should be referred to regular visitation panel for a thorough investigation and necessary recommendations.
”The process adopted by the council in the appointment of Prof Omololu Soyombo as Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university was inconsistent with the provisions of the law relating to the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor.”