Authorities of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have given credence to the actions of its Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN) against the background of an allegation of impropriety levelled by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) against him.
In his reaction to the allegation published in some national newspaper and electronic media, Oladejo Azeez, Esq., the Registrar and Secretary to the Council, UNILAG, said: “Dr Olawale Bolanle Babalakin (SAN), the incumbent Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos has acted within the Law.”
According to Registrar, the Pro-Chancellor had not contravened the laws establishing the university or acted out of the ordinary by holding a meeting with members of Senate of the University of Lagos on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
It would be recalled that ASUU Lagos Zone had on December 9, 2018, accused Babalakin of interfering in the affairs of the university contrary to the law that governs the institution.
Azeez in a statement stated: “The University of Lagos wishes to inform the public that the following allegations made against the Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin are unfounded.
Addressing another matter on the reinstatement of the Director of Sports, Dr Arinze, he stated: “Please be informed that a member of the staff of the Institution forwarded a petition to the University Governing Council. This petition, like others of its kind, was reviewed and debated upon by members of the Council. It was discovered after careful deliberations that the University Senate had cleared the Director of Sports, Dr Cecilia Arinze of nine (9) out of eleven (11) allegations levelled against her.
“Council also discovered that the tenth (10th) allegation against Dr Arinze was frivolous and that the only one (1) remaining allegation was insufficient to dismiss a staff of the University who had put in thirty (30) years of service.
“Based on the foregoing, Council decided to clear the Director of Sports of the allegations levelled against her.
“On the accusation of the Lagos Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), that the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr Wale Babalakin’s meeting with the members of Senate was unprecedented, please be informed that it is untrue that the meeting in the Senate Chamber was unprecedented.”
Giving instances of such meetings by Babalakin’s predecessors the University stated: “A former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN held a meeting of such nature with members of the Senate when he was appointed Pro-Chancellor of the Institution.
“The Minutes of Senate Meeting of that day serves as evidence that the allegation is untrue. Another former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Late Deacon Gamaliel Offoritsenere Onosode, also held a meeting with Senate members in the University Senate Chamber.
“In view of the above, Dr Olawale Bolanle Babalakin, the incumbent Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos has acted within the Law. He has done nothing wrong or out of the ordinary by holding a meeting with members of Senate of the University of Lagos on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
“It is worthy of note also, that the Pro-Chancellor has held meetings with all members of staff of the University of Lagos upon his assumption of office. “These meetings were held with other Council members in attendance so as to have a better understanding of the University environment from members of staff directly involved with the operations of the University.
“In conclusion, we want to place it on record that the Governing Council of the University of Lagos led by Dr Olawale Bolanle Babalakin, has consistently upheld laws and traditions of the University.
He added: “It is also on record that the Pro-Chancellor has carried out his duties diligently without drawing any allowance or financial benefit from the University. He is actually on record as supporting the University of Lagos with his personal resources.
Meanwhile, the 1967 Act of UNILAG states: “The Pro-Chancellor shall, in relation to the University, take precedence before all other members of the University except the Chancellor and except the Vice-Chancellor when acting as chairman of Congregation or Convocation and except the Deputy Vice-Chancellor when so acting; and the Pro-Chancellor shall, when he is present, be the chairman at all meetings of the Council.