Nigeria: Unilag Crisis - Visitation Panel Submits Report to FG

17 September 2020

The panel looked at the crisis between the university's governing council and the suspended vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe

The Special Presidential Visitation Panel set up by <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/MBuhari">President Muhammadu Buhari</a> to look at the removal of the suspended Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has submitted its report.

The report was submitted to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, by Chairman of the panel, Tukur Sa'ad, on Thursday in Abuja.

The panel was given two weeks to complete its assignment upon inauguration on August 26.

Mr Adamu said the visitor of the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, will take a decision in order to restore peace in the university.

"The visitor of the university, after due consideration of the report will take a decision on the matter as appropriate in order to restore peace and conducive learning atmosphere in the university of Lagos and the university system as a whole," he said.

Mr Adamu said justice would be served to all parties in line with the recommendations of the report.

Also speaking, the chairman of the panel, Mr Sa'ad, said the committee will not divulge any information contained in the report.

Mr Sa'ad said the implementation of the recommendations of the report would restore peace in the University of Lagos and other tertiary institutions.

"We cannot divulge any content of the report but it will be significant to note that the chancellor of the University, the Shehu of Borno, interacted with the panel. We are happy we have completed this work and we hope this special visitation panel would have made some contributions towards resolving the problem with the University of Lagos and towards preventing similar problems in other universities all over the country," he said.

How it started

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Minister of Education inaugurated the seven-member presidential panel to look into the crisis in the school and submit recommendations that would help resolve the issue.

The governing council of the <a target="_blank" href="https://unilag.edu.ng/">University of Lagos</a> had removed Mr Ogundipe as the vice-chancellor over allegations of abuse of office, which he denied.

Mr Ogundipe was <a target="_blank" href="https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/408472-breaking-unilag-governing-council-removes-ogundipe-as-vice-chancellor.html">accused of financial impropriety</a> and gross misconduct.

The crisis between the governing council and the management reached its peak in March when the university's week-long 2020 Convocation was cancelled just before it started.

The cancellation was ordered by the National Universities Commission (NUC)

Similar issue

In a separate but related meeting at the ministry of education, Mr Adamu also received another report from a panel that looked into administrative issues at the African University of Science and Technology (AUST).

After the chairman of the panel, Nimi Briggs, submitted the report, the minister said the federal government would "commence immediate action" on it.

The Administrative Audit Panel was set up on July 19, 2019, to review and submit a report to address the ownership, financial management and administrative management of the institution.

According to the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/search?q=AUST&oq=AUST&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i60.1865j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8">institution's website</a>, the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) is a Pan-African institution, established in 2007 in response to a request from several African Heads of State, to give life to a request made by then President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, that the World Bank and the African Union work together to create strong Pan-African centres of excellence to improve sub-Saharan Africa's capacity in Science and Technology.

AUST in Abuja was the first of these centres of excellence to be established.

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