Fashola invites Metropolitan College founder for meeting
LAGOS State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday appealed to Madam Roseline Ololo, 91 to shelve her plans of occupying his office in protest against the refusal of the state government to return her schools, Metropolitan College and Isolo Secondary School to her.
Madam Ololo had actually began the match to Alausa in fulfillment of her threat to occupy the governor’s office at the expiration of the seven days ultimatum she gave to the governor.
The woman, accompanied by her family and well wishers, had stormed Fashola’s office on Tuesday with cooking materials and mattress, but her lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo informed journalists that they received a call from the governor on their way to Alausa to shelve the protest.
“We were already on our way here when we received a call from the governor, who asked us to shelve the planned protest and come for a meeting on Friday at the Ministry of Education,” Omirhobo explained.
Metropolitan College was founded by Madam Ololo and her late husband, Chief Michael Ololo in 1955 through their company, Akaix West Africa Limited.
In 1976, through the Education (Private Secondary Institutions Special Provisions) Law, the Military Government of Lagos State took over 48 Private Secondary Schools from their owners, including Metropolitan College. In the process, Isolo Secondary School was carved out of Metropolitan College on the same expanse of land hosting the college.
However, in 2001, the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu repealed the law and returned the said 48 private schools to their owners, but Metropolitan College was curiously not returned, a development that brought about a lawsuit.
In the suit, Akaix West Africa sued the state government before the Lagos High Court to challenge the refusal of government to hand over the school to it.
The government, however, indicated willingness to settle the dispute out of court, a development that led to the matter being referred to the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) for arbitration.
At the arbitral sitting, the issues were narrowed down by parties as follows: “That the Metropolitan College comprising of Isolo Secondary School belongs to Akaix West Africa Limited.
“That Metropolitan College will be released to Akaix West Africa Limited. That the Lagos State Ministry of Education is insisting on retaining part of the property hosting Isolo Secondary School. That Akaix West Africa Limited shall comply with the terms and conditions of the return of Private Secondary Schools.
“That the Lagos State Government, from time to time, will monitor the compliance by Akaix West Africa Limited.”
However, trouble started again due to the insistence of the Lagos State Ministry of Education to retain the Isolo Secondary School.
Akaix West Africa had contended that the retention of part of the school was against government’s restructuring of the educational system of divesting and allowing the private sector to invest in the educational system so as to provide the conditions in which students can learn to the highest standard and prepare themselves to meet their future needs.