The management of the University of Lagos has described the allegations levelled against the Pro-chancellor of the institution, Wale Babalakin, by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), as false and unfounded.
The management also said Mr Babalakin has acted within the ambit of the law.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Registrar and Secretary to the Council, UNILAG, Oladejo Azeez, which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday night.
ASUU accused Mr Babalakin of reinstating a director of sports, Cecilia Arinze, contrary to the recommendations of a university senate committee set up to investigate the various cases of malfeasance against the director.
The union also accused Mr Babalakin of holding a meeting with members of the senate in the senate chamber, university of Lagos which was unprecedented.
The union, through its Lagos Chapter on December 9 also accused Mr Babalakin of meddling in UNILAG’s affairs and acting contrary to the laws that govern the institution.
But the Registrar and Secretary to the Council (UNILAG), said the pro-chancellor had done nothing wrong or out of the ordinary by holding a meeting with members of UNILAG’S Senate on September 26.
“The University of Lagos wishes to inform the public that the following allegations made against the Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin, are unfounded,” he said.
On the reinstatement of the director of sports, Mr Azeez said the council discovered that the major allegation against her was frivolous and the only remaining allegation was insufficient to dismiss a staff of the university who had put in thirty years of service.
“Please, be informed that a member of staff of the Institution forwarded a petition to the University’s 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’s Senate had cleared the Director of Sports, Dr. Cecilia Arinze of nine (9) out of eleven (11) allegations levelled against her, ”he said.
Speaking on accusation of Mr Babalakin’s meeting with the members of Senate as being unprecedented, he said, “Please, be informed that it is untrue that the meeting in the Senate Chamber was unprecedented.”
“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.”
He said the minutes of the Senate meeting of that day serve as evidence that the allegation is untrue.
He said a former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Gamaliel Onosode, also held a meeting with Senate members in the University’s Senate Chamber.
“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.”
He said Mr Babalakin held some of the meetings with other council members in attendance so as to have a better understanding of the university’s 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 said Mr Babalakin carried out his duties diligently, without drawing any allowance or financial benefit from the university, while supporting the University of Lagos with his personal resources.
On the functions of the council and its finance and general purposes committee, he said the UNILAG Act states that, “Subject to the provisions of this Act relating to the Visitor, the Council shall be the governing body of the University and shall be charged with the general control and superintendence of the policy, finances and property of the University, including its public relations.
“There shall be a committee of the Council, to be known as the Finance and General Purposes Committee, which shall, subject to the directions of the Council, exercise control over the property and expenditure of the University, other than that of the colleges, and perform such other functions of the Council as the Council may, from time to time, delegate to it,” he concluded.
Recently, Mr Babalakin, who is the chairman of the federal government / ASUU 2009 agreement renegotiation has received a lot of criticism from ASUU, both at the national and state level.
In August, the national body of ASUU described Mr Babalakin as “a stumbling block in the renegotiation process” and called for the suspension of the committee.