The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered a fresh process for the selection of the ninth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Information, Gbenga Omotoso, made this known in a statement on Friday, 21 May, 2021.
The PUNCH gathered that this is in line with the recommendations of the Special Visitation panel set up by the Governor after the crisis that greeted the initial selection process.
The Commissioner also said the governor dissolved the governing council of the institution and removed the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council.
A statement by Omotoso read, “The Governor of Lagos State and the Visitor to the Lagos State University, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, after consideration of the report of the Special Visitation Panel on the appointment of the 9th Vice-Chancellor and by the powers conferred on him by the Lagos State University Law, Cap L69 volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (as amended), hereby adopts the recommendations and directs as follows:
“The immediate dissolution of the Lagos State University Governing Council and the removal of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council for flagrant violations of the extant laws and regulations of the University guiding the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor.
“Cancellation of the second failed exercise to appoint the 9th Substantive Vice-Chancellor as a result of the flagrant contravention of extant laws, breach of due process, failure and total disregard to follow its own laid down criteria guiding the process for the appointment of a 9th Vice-Chancellor as publicly advertised.
“In due course, a new Governing Council for the Lagos State University will be constituted. The reconstituted Council shall conduct a new process for the appointment of the 9th Vice-Chancellor.
“Members of the Joint Council and the Senate Committee who participated in the two failed exercises of 2020 and 2021 to appoint a ninth Vice-Chancellor are exempted from further participation in the new exercise for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor. The Acting Vice-Chancellor and Management of the University are hereby directed to elect new council members from the Senate.
“The Registrar and Secretary to Council is to proceed on leave with immediate effect till the end of the process for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor, having failed to advise the Joint Council and Senate Committee against taking wrong decisions, which were against the provision of the law during the two failed exercises of 2020 and 2021.
“An Acting Registrar will superintend over the new exercise. The Acting Vice-Chancellor is to forward to the Governor/Visitor through the Surrogate Council (Special Adviser on Education) the list of all the Deputy Registrars of Lagos State University for the purpose of appointing an Acting Registrar for the University.
“The Governor/Visitor following the recommendation of the Special Visitation Panel, shall be setting up a full Visitation Panel for Lagos State University immediately.”
During the initial selection process, a joint Selection Committee of the Senate and Council was set up by the university to interview candidates to replace Prof Olarewaju Fagbohun, whose tenure expired.
The Committee was expected to submit the names of the three best candidates for the job for onward transmission to the Visitor (the Lagos State Governor) for the final selection of one successful candidate for the job.
More than 18 Professors from about 10 universities applied for the job. But there was controversy over the qualification of some candidates selected to replace Fagbohun.
This, among other reasons, necessitated Sanwo-Olu to cancel the process set up for the appointment of a substantive ninth Vice-Chancellor of the University.
The Governor then directed that a fresh process that would terminate in 45 days should commence immediately.
Fagbohun was also directed to convene an emergency Senate meeting for the purpose of appointing one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, who is not a candidate in the cancelled selection process, as Acting Vice-Chancellor from Monday, January 11, 2021.
The Senate met and appointed Oyedamola Oke as the acting vice-chancellor of the institution on Monday, Janaury 11, 2021 – the same day Fagbohun’s tenure expired.
Thirty-seven days after its constitution, the six-member special visitation panel chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of a report to the Governor.