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Nonagenarian gives Fashola seven days ultimatum on Metropolitan College



Governor Babatunde Fashola

A nonagenarian, Madam Roseline Ololo, aged 91, has given the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, a seven-day ultimatum to ensure the return of Metropolitan College and Isolo Secondary School to her, failure of which she will permanently occupy the governor’s office.

Madam Ololo, in a statement on Monday by her lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo, threatened to permanently occupy the governor’s office until her demands are met.

Madam Ololo and her late husband, Chief Michael Ololo, had through their company, Akaix West Africa Limited, established Metropolitan College in 1955 with the first batch of 19 students in Surulere area of Lagos.

For expansion purposes and to move away from the thickly populated residential area of Surulere, the owners acquired the present site at Ire-Akari, Isolo in 1966 and eventually moved there in 1974.

In 1976, via 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However, in 2001, the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu repealed the law and returned the said 48 private schools to their owners, but Metropolitan College was curiously not returned, a development that brought about the lawsuit.

In the suit, Akaix West Africa had 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 amicably settle the dispute, a development, which 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, another trouble started 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.

Omirhobo had earlier written a letter to Fashola urging him to put on his wig and gown as a seasoned and erudite Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) to call for the file, study it and advise the Lagos State Ministry of Education on the need to return the whole school and not part to the owners.



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