The embattled ‘vice-chancellor’ of the University of Lagos, Olawatoyin Ogundipe, has filed a case at the Lagos Industrial Court urging the court to nullify his purported removal, court papers seen by PREMIUM TIMES show.
Mr Ogundipe, through his counsel, Ebunolu Adegboruwa, in an ex parte application, urged the court to nullify and set aside the decision of the university’s council to remove him as vice-chancellor.
Mr Adegboruwa, however, later told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the matter had been withdrawn.
“Indeed, upon detailed consultation with all stakeholders and his supporters in and outside the University, Professor Ogundipe directed his lawyers to file a notice of discontinuance of the suit and this has been done on August 21, 2020,” he said.
“This is to defer to the authority of the president as the visitor of the University as Professor Ogundipe has enough time to challenge his purported removal.”
Both men have been embroiled in a leadership tussle for over a year, but Mr Ogundipe’s sack a fortnight ago took the conflict rocking the school to a new height.
They all alluded that due process was not followed in removing Mr Ogundipe and in appointing Mr Soyombo, a view shared by the former, which he told the court.
Joined as defendants in the suit labelled NICN/LA/D18/2020 and dated August 14 were UNILAG, the council, Senate, pro-chancellor Wale Babalakin, registrar Oladejo Azeez, and Mr Soyombo.
But Mr Adegboruwa told PREMIUM TIMES Friday the matter was withdrawn because Mr Ogundipe was deferring to President Muhammadu Buhari who is the visitor to the university.
Mr Soyombo earlier in the week, had a mediatory meeting with the university staff, begging for support, but it ended in an impasse.
“My major focus will be on staff welfare. My belief in this regard is that human resources (staff) are the core assets of the university and any organisation. Otherwise, we cannot achieve anything,” Mr Soyombo told them.
Nonetheless, Mr Soyombo said he could rally back support through dialogue with the staff members of the institution.
“ASUU is our union, I am a member of ASUU,” he told reporters assuringly. “We will continue to dialogue with ourselves. It is rare to have 100 per cent agreement in any organisation or group, there will always be different opinions.”
Editor’s Note: This report has been updated with new details of Mr Ogundipe’s case.
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