…The reports of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos show that Ogundipe was guilty of reckless spending of university funds
The embattled Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was removed by the Governing Council for neglecting due process in taking decisions that affect the university among other infractions.
Reports of the investigative teams set up by the council of the university revealed this, adding that Ogundipe was guilty of reckless spendingS of university funds
However, in contrast to what the council holds, Ogundipe denied the allegations against him, calling the Dr. Wale Babalakin-led Governing Council’s a charade.
Babalakin had highlighted some of the alleged contraventions by Ogundipe to include spending N49.4 million on the renovation of his official home without the approval of the Chairman of the Governing Council.
“The university’s bursar also spent N41,817,638.32 on the refurbishment of his own house. The former Registrar spent N16,123,505.00 on the renovation of her own house,” Babalakin claimed.
According to Babalakin, it was only after the Council set up a panel headed by a Dr. Saminu Dagari that the expenses were revealed.
“They were never brought to the attention of either the Finance and General Purposes Committee or the Council or even the Pro-Chancellor.
“These are simply criminal offences. Even the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with his enormous executive powers would not unilaterally and arbitrarily spend public money without the approval of the National Assembly.”
Ogundipe was also accused of appointing a deputy vice chancellor who handled the award of the projects for the construction of the library chairman of the committee that also probed the collapse of the building.
“The Vice-Chancellor’s action was untenable and totally disgraceful. Obviously, there was a plan to conceal the facts and protect the persons involved.
“Professor Fogam investigated the case and discovered that the whole process was done in flagrant disregard of the Council and the Federal Ministry of Education,” the council said.
While responding to the claims against him, Ogundipe said Dagari in an audio recording told members of his committee that the primary aim of putting up the committee was to accuse the vice-chancellor and the bursar and consequently have them removed from offices.
He lamented the panel was allowed to conduct its investigation ceaselessly.
“The committee spent over six months on the assignment, sat for over 40 times and in the process, incurred a bill of over N7 million by way of sitting allowance, hotel expenditure as well as feeding at meetings.
“It is also important to point out here that the External Audit Firms appointed by Council for the regular one-year audit of the University’s finances only costs the university N5.2 million only.
“Simultaneously within this period, the Pro-Chancellor had authorised an External Audit firm of his choosing to look into the books of the university for which he paid from his personal account.
“The report of his External Auditors had noted the standard kind of audit report showing some weaknesses in some of the internal control but did not detect fraud. They also made their recommendations as appropriate in a report. It would appear that the whole idea of setting up the committee was a charade,” Ogundipe stated.
Furthermore, Ogundipe has engaged the services of a senior lawyer and human right activist, Mike Ozekhome to file a suit against his rude removal from office.
Ogundipe complained in the letter that the action of the Governing Council of the university “purportedly removing” him from office was “illegal and unconstitutional”, adding that it was “carried out without due process and contrary to the University Act and other extant laws governing discipline, suspension and removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the university”.
His instruction to Ozekhome contained in a letter titled, ‘Instruction to institute legal action against the Council and Pro-Chancellor and others of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos’.
It partly read, “I hereby formally brief you to institute legal proceedings against the Council, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and others based on their illegal and unconstitutional act of purportedly removing me from office as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos.
“I honestly believe that this action was carried out without due process and contrary to the University Act and other extant laws governing discipline, suspension and removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
“I humbly urge you to use your legal experience to redress this grave injustice meted out to me.”