The Senate of the University of Lagos Akoka Monday elected the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of development services, Professor Folasade Ogunsola as the institution’s acting vice-chancellor.
By the appointment, Ogunsola became the first female to occupy the office in UNILAG’s 58-year-old history.
Ogunsola, a professor of medical microbiology is also the first child of Nigeria’s first professor of Geography, Akin Mabogunje.
She was at a time the first female provost of the university’s college of medicine, Idi-Araba.
Ogunsola emerged beating her opponent and fellow deputy vice-chancellor in charge of management services, Professor Ben Oghojafor, who scored 31 votes as against the former’s 135 votes from the institution’s Senate.
With Ogunsola’s appointment, the second generation university had two vice-chancellors under one week.
In the heat of the crisis last week, the visitor to the school, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the institution’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin, to recuse himself from official duties relating to the institution.
He similarly directed Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was also directed to recuse himself as Vice-Chancellor.
Consequently, President Buhari set up a seven-man probe panel, headed by Professor Tukur Sa’ad, former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna.
The panel has Victor Onuoha, Ikenna Oyindo, Ekanem Braide, Adamu Usman, and Jimoh Bankole as members.
In a statement issued Friday to announce the president’s recommendations, the director of press at the federal ministry of education, Ben Goong, said the panel would be inaugurated Wednesday by the education minister, Malam Adamu Adamu.
And ahead of the panel’s inauguration, the institution’s Senate was mandated “to immediately convene to nominate an acting vice-chancellor from amongst its members for confirmation by the governing council.”
However, the institution’s registrar, Mr Oladejo Azeez, via a memo addressed to the head of the management of the university’s auditorium not to make the venue available for the Senate meeting.
The memo, obtained by Premium Times reads: “No meeting of senate has been summoned. Members should await proper notice of meeting after the federal government of Nigeria has clarified some issues germane to the meeting.
“It follows that you are not to make any of your facilities available for any meeting until otherwise advised.”
Irked by the development, the senate reportedly sought approval from the national universities commission (NUC) and the federal ministry of education before it commenced the process.
A member of the senate who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to talk to journalists, told our reporter on the phone that; “The meeting started with Professor Ogunsola briefing the Senate that the meeting was convened after due process was followed and that authority was granted by both the NUC and the education ministry.”
The source added that Mrs Ogunsola recused herself from anchoring the meeting and that the leader of the senate’s team to Abuja on Thursday, Chioma Agomo, was validly nominated to chair the meeting.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs Ogunsola, who doubles as the chairperson of Infections Control Africa Network, and member of the Lagos State COVID-19 Task Force, thanked the professors for entrusting her with what she described as a huge responsibility.
She was quoted as saying; “Electing me the acting vice-chancellor at such time the university is going through so much is a big task. But it is a task for all of us, and I appeal to you to help rewrite the story of this great university for good.”