BY MARY KUYE
Legal giant, Mike Ozekhome, SAN has vowed to defend his client, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the embattled ‘sacked’ vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, UNILAG.
He said the vice-chancellor’s removal was premeditated without due process and illegal.
Ozekhome, in a statement on Thursday, said his client believed the emergency meeting at which he was purportedly removed was premeditated done.
He words: “The VC was observed by journalists leaving the venue of the meeting with another Council member, Prof Bola Oboh when they protested in vain that the main issue for discussion at the emergency meeting was not the VC’s investigation or removal which was item 5 on the agenda but the 2020 budget of the University.
“It is believed that even the Representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Prince Adetokunbo Adebanjo, had also protested the proceedings, and voted against the VC’s removal by WhatsApp message as was directed by Dr Babalakin ( the chairman of Council) even in the absence of the VC.
“One of the issues in contention apart from denial of fair hearing is that the voting process was fundamentally flawed as votes of those who voted against the VC’s removal like Prince Adebanjo were allegedly not counted.
“The UNILAG Act available to us makes it clear that the VC must first be tried by a joint committee of the Senate and Council before any recommendation for his removal is sent to the Council for debate and action.
“Even then, the Council cannot remove him without the Senate first concurring, all of which were said never to have taken place at all.
“Stakeholders of UNILAG and the general public to disregard this mischievous disinformation about the sitting vice Chancellor of UNILAG. Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who he said still remains the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos”.
The council headed by Babalakin had allegedly sacked the VC at an emergency meeting at the National Universities Commission (NUC) Abuja on Wednesday.