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Babalakin appears before UNILAG visitation panel, declines interview

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Wale Babalakin


The suspended Chairman of University of Lagos (UNILAG) Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin, yesterday, appeared before the visitation panel set up by the Federal Government to look into the leadership crisis rocking the institution.

Journalists were not allowed to witness Babalakin’s appearance before the panel but he declined to speak with reporters, who approached him as he stepped out of the council chambers.

He said: “Nobody has spoken to the press since this visitation panel started. I have made the presentation and that is all. I have no comment.”

BUT the UNILAG Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru, while answering questions from reporters on why the union allowed Babalakin on campus, having earlier declared him persona non grata, said the suspended Pro-Chancellor came in as an individual and not as the Chairman of Governing Council.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC), in its presentation to the panel, signed by the Acting Chairman of SSANU, Sowunmi Olusola and NASU Chairman, Ajibade Kehinde, said they were in support of the council’s efforts at fighting waste and financial impropriety in the system.

“So much dusts were raised on the corruption allegations and the council committee, which investigated it. JAC’s position is that this panel must get to the heart of the matter. The brand, University of Lagos, must not be tarnished. Let the investigation be thorough and fair. Culpable parties must be sanctioned according to the extant laws to serve as deterrent to others,” the committee said, among others.

“There can be no peace where there is no justice. From JAC’s point of view, injustices in the system include refusal of the management to implement council’s resolutions on stagnation/promotion, removal of International School Staff from the IPPIS payment platform and illegal recruitment of about 200 new members of staff instead of regularising the appointment of those due for conversion,” the committee said.

In its recommendation, the unions asked that non-teaching members of staff should participate actively in the process of selection, appointment and election of the principal officers in the university for the sake of unity and inclusiveness, adding: “The latest crisis has had a serious effect on SSANU and NASU members and the institution is fast dividing along teaching and non-teaching lines, which is very unhealthy for the smooth operation of the system.”


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