The Federal Government of Nigeria has appointed the Chairman and CEO of Channels Television, John Momoh, as acting chairman of the governing council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka. Momoh has been the president of the institution’s alumni association and a member of the council representing the association.
His appointment follows the removal of lawyer and businessman, Wale Babalakin, from the position over the leadership crisis in the university.
A letter signed by the permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono directed Momoh to convene an emergency meeting of the council to “consider and, if found suitable, approve the senate nomination of the acting Vice-Chancellor for University of Lagos, in line with the enabling Act.
The letter dated August 21, 2020 is titled, ‘Emergency Meeting of the Governing Council of University of Lagos’ with reference number FME/PS/606/C.1/III/129.
“You are to preside at the meeting in the absence of the substantive pro-chancellor/chairman of council who has had to recuse himself in line with the visitor’s directive.
“You are to also submit a report on the decision of the council to the visitor through the honourable minister of education immediately thereafter.”
Meanwhile, the ministry has also formally notified the National Universities Commission (NUC) of the directives of the president, and urged the regulatory body to make arrangements for the inauguration of the panel ahead of Wednesday, including provision of accommodation for nominated members who are based outside Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
A letter addressed to the executive secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, and referenced; FME/PS/606/CI/III/128, directed the commission to give effect to the president’s directives “and ensure strict compliance.”
The letter, a copy of which this newspaper obtained, is entitled; “Re: Special Visitation Panel to University of Lagos.” It reads in part; “The registrar/secretary to the senate as well as the council should immediately should immediately convene the meetings of the two (2) organs of the university to nominate and confirm the appointment of an acting vice chancellor, respectively; and
“The acting vice-chancellor shall oversee the affairs of the university pending government’s decision on the report of the special visitation panel.”
Meanwhile, the NUC, in response to the directive, on Friday, notified the university’s registrar, Oladejo Azeez, of the development via a letter with reference, NUC/ES/134/VOL.24/432, and entitled; ““Re: Special Visitation Panel to University of Lagos.”
NUC requested the registrar to “honour and ensure full compliance with the directives of the visitor, as appropriate.”