Four labour unions in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have condemned the purported removal of the vice-chancellor Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe by the governing council, describing it as “unjust” and “illegal”.
The unions made this known in a statement jointly issued and signed by their chairmen at the end of their meeting on Thursday in Lagos.
The four unions are the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Union of Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologies (NATTS).
”Our unions are surprised that a council constituted by law and chaired by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) could violently and lawlessly violate the law of the University of Lagos in the said removal of the vice chancellor,” the statement read.
”According to the University of Lagos Act, laws and practice of other universities not only in Nigeria, but in other civilised climes, a principal officer cannot be removed on flimsy excuses without regard to laws.
”The four unions of all workers in the university of Lagos, hereby declare the removal of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, illegal on the following grounds.
”No notification to the vice-chancellor on the allegations against him, no investigation panel was set up to investigate the allegations against him, in line with the university’s Act.
”There was also lack of fair hearing, as there was no formal report from any investigative committee.”
They noted that there was no consideration of report of an investigative committee since none was set up as provided for in the institution’s law.
”It is against the foregoing background that the staff unions of the university condemn in its totality, the purported removal of our vice-chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; it is illegal, vexatious, unjust, vindictive and tantamounts to jungle justice.
”We, therefore, affirm our absolute confidence in the leadership of Prof. Toyin Ogundipe as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos.
”Therefore, the position of the vice-chancellor of University of Lagos is not vacant,” they said.
The unions urged the Federal Government to intervene in the crisis.