- …the Panel of Inquiry set up by the Visitor to the University, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, indicated breach of procedure vis-a-vis appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor.
The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to appointing the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), on the platform of due process, credibility and merit.
As gathered by Eko Hot Blog, this was disclosed by Mr Tokunbo Wahab, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, when he featured on “Daily Digest with Jimi Disu” on Lagos Talks, 99.3FM.
Wahab, who explained the reason behind the cancellation of the selection process on two different occasions, said that the Panel of Inquiry set up by the Visitor to the University, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, indicated breach of procedure vis-a-vis appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor and did not comply with the Laws regulating such process.
He said: “By Law, there must be an advert that calls for applications from qualified candidates for the post of the Vice-Chancellor. The requirements for the post as contained in the advert must be ratified by a properly constituted Governing Council before publication. However, the advert was published without recourse to the Governing Council and was only presented to the body as a fait accompli, giving way to favoured candidates to emerge.
“Among the contentious issues were the years of experience of interested candidates on professorial cadre, which was benchmarked at five years. The Chairman was accused of suggesting names of preferred candidates to the Council at its first meeting. The Council that eventually ratified the advert and conditions published in the advert was not properly constituted, hence the candidates that emerged were selected and not appointed according to the laid down guidelines of the institution.”
Mr Wahab said that the Governor did not deliberately stall the process of appointing a new Vice-Chancellor but was particularly interested in a process fair to all candidates. According to him, the Governing Council had been mandated to conduct a fresh exercise for the appointment of the next VC, but before the outcome of the exercise was announced, more petitions from certain quarters of the institution emerged challenging the legality of the appointment process.
He further noted that the focus of the State Government at this time is to constitute a new Governing Council and a Visitation Panel that will spearhead a credible and transparent process of appointing the next LASU Vice-Chancellor.
“We desire a due and transparent process, which informed our stand that the appointment must be merit-based because you cannot build something on nothing; let the process throw up the best,” he said.
Wahab also lauded the strides of Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, immediate-past LASU Vice-Chancellor, who, according to him, did exceedingly well in placing LASU on a global pedestal and also pushed the institution’s image and reputation to the world stage.
Mr Wahab noted that the situation at the Lagos State University is akin to the conventional politics on campuses of higher institutions of learning, which is always tough and highly divisive since different interest groups would naturally join the fray for power distribution. The Special Panel observed and reported a strong division among key stakeholders of LASU, Wahab said.
He said all qualified applicants had the right to vie for the position of Vice-Chancellor, but described the disqualification of a sitting Vice-Chancellor by the Pro-Chancellor as “arbitrary” and affirmed that Governor Sanwo-Olu does not have any preferred candidate but is only interested in due process and the credibility of the selection process.
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