The seven-man visitation panel set up by the federal government to look into the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has called for memoranda from stakeholders, both within and outside the university community.
The panel, which has two weeks to submit its recommendations, issued a notice calling for memoranda shortly after it was inaugurated on Wednesday by the education minister, Adamu Adamu. Mr Adamu said he was mandated to conduct the inauguration by the visitor to the institution, President Muhammadu Buhari.
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The notice, a copy of which PREMIUM TIMES obtained, was signed by the panel’s secretary, Grace Ekanem.
According to Mrs Ekanem, the panel’s term of reference includes, “to review the report of the governing council’s subcommittee on review of the expenditure of the university since May 2017, and make appropriate recommendations after affording all those indicted an opportunity to defend themselves; examine the steps taken by the council leading to the removal of the substantive vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and ascertaining whether due process was followed as stipulated in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2003, and the principle of fair hearing adhered to.”
Other terms of reference are, “to determine whether the process (if any) leading to the appointment of the acting vice-chancellor for the university was consistent with the provisions of the enabling act; to make appropriate recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable by the special visitation team on all allegations contained in the report as well as other subsequent actions arising therefrom, and to make any other recommendations that will assist government to take decisions that will ensure peaceful, stable and effective administration of the university.”
The notice further reads in part; “consequently, the university community and all stakeholders are invited to submit their memoranda on any of the terms of reference above.”
It said all memoranda should be submitted to the panel at the institution’s council chamber on the university’s main campus in Akoka.
Profile of panel members
The panel which has as its chairman, Tukur Sa’ad, a professor and former vice-chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State; also has Victor Onuoha, Ikenna Onyido, Ekanem Braide, Adamu Usman, Jimoh Bankole, as members with Grace Ekanem as secretary.
Mr Onuoha, a lawyer, retired in 2019 as a deputy executive secretary in charge of administration at the National Universities Commission. He also holds a masters in public administration from UNILAG, while Mr Onyido is a professor of chemistry and was between 2006 and 2011, the vice-chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State.
Mrs Braide is a professor of parasitology and epidemiology, who was vice-chancellor between 2004 and 2009 at Cross River University of Technology, Calabar. She was also the pioneer vice-chancellor at the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State between 2011 and 2016. She is currently the president of the Nigerian Academy of Science.
Mr Usman is a professor of law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and incumbent chairman of the board of the Universal Basic Education Commission. Mr Usman was also a senior special assistant to President Buhari on legal matters, research and documentation from 2016 to 2019.
While Mrs Ekanem is a legal director at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Bankole is a former bursar at the University of Ibadan, and now serves as bursar at Crescent University, Abeokuta, a private university founded by a former judge at the International Court of Justice, Bola Ajibola.