How UNILAG's VC, Professor Sofoluwe, died

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe, 62, is dead.

The man dubbed “the Golden Jubilee VC” bode farewell to the world last night after he reportedly slumped aand started vomitting blood.

Reports said he slumped around 7.30 p.m. in his office at the Faculty of Sciences.

He was immediately rushed to the school’s Medical Center and later transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi -Araba, where he was pronounced dead.

Witnesses say they spotted an ambulance rushing out of the school premises some minutes before 8.00 p.m. local time.

They said they believed it had to do with the VC’ passing after reports of his death inundated Black Berry Messenger broadcasts this morning.

Some officials of the institution, who would not want their identities revealed, also confirmed the sad news with obvious regret.

The school has, however not made any official statement to confirm or deny the VC’s demise.

The former  professor of Computer Science became UNILAG’s 10th Vice-Chancellor on January 30th 2010 at the height of the 65 years retirement age saga between Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government in fashion some quarters of the staff said “forced” his predecessor, Prof Tolu Odugbemi whom they said had the privilege of the post till 2012, out of office. The retirement age tussle had since been settled at 70 years after a prolonged ASUU strike.

Prof. Sofoluwe addressed a World Press Conference to flag off the Golden Anniversary of the institution on Tuesday May 8, and showed no sign of ill health. His sudden death has come as a surprise to the majority of the university community.

The late academic was born on April 15, 1950. He graduated with a Second Class Upper Division (Honours) in Special Mathematics in June 1973 from the University of Lagos.

During his undergraduate years, he received the prestigious German Scholarship award for academic brilliance. He also won the Dean’s Prize in the 1971/72 session. He was a pioneer National Youth Corps Member in the old South Eastern State of Nigeria.

At the end of the Youth Service, he won a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at Edinburgh University, Scotland. He earned his Masters in 1975 and Doctorate in 1981 from Edinburgh University.

The astute scholar-researcher started his teaching career as graduate assistant at the University of Lagos in 1976 and rose steadily through the ranks to become full professor in October 1996.

A versatile administrator, Professor Sofoluwe was a two-time Acting Head, Department of Computer Science from 1989 to 1991 and 1994 to 1996.

He served as Dean of the Faculty of Science between 1998 and 2002.

Professor Sofoluwe was elected as member of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos in 2000, for four years. By virtue of his appointment as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), he returned to the Governing Council in August 30, 2006 and was appointed Vice-Chancellor on January 30th, 2010 (although his appointment letter was dated January 15th).

On June 6, 2010, he was honoured by CMS Grammar School Old Boys Association as a Distinguished Grammarian.

He died after a suspected cardiac arrest on Friday May 11th, 2012.


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