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Sanwo-Olu receives report on LASU VC crisis, assures implementation

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU), assuring Lagosians that recommendations in the report will be implemented effectively.

Sanwo-Olu said that the report would assist the government in achieving a peaceful transition of the institution leadership and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school.

Receiving the 60 pages report from the panel chaired former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, on Monday, the governor commended the panel for the timely submission of its report, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task.

As gathered, the panel turned in the report 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing a new VC.

The Governor, who expressed his satisfaction over the timely actions, pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and the image LASU.

He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice-Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the appointment.

“This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process.

“I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness, and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice-Chancellor of LASU.”

Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Our findings, observations, and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held an opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC.

“Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment.

Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university.

Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Funmilola Olajide, who was the panel’s Secretary.

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