21st August, 2020
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Deference to the authority of President Muhammadu Buhari is the reason sacked Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe withdrew his court case against the Governing Council of the institution, his lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, said on Friday.
Ogundipe had filed an ex parte application, which was pending for hearing before the National Industrial Court.
The suit, marked NICN/LA/278/2020, had as defendants: UNILAG; the varsity’s Council; its Senate; Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN); Registrar, Oladejo Azeez; and Prof. Theophilus Soyombo, who was appointed acting VC in the wake of Ogundipe’s controversial sacking.
But a statement issued on Friday by Ogundipe’s legal team, led by Adegboruwa, contrary to the falsehood being peddled by mischief makers, the National Industrial Court had never sat or conduct any proceedings in respect of the court case filed by the Vice-Chancellor.
He said no court proceedings ever took place at all and so no decision or ruling had been rendered by the court.
According to him, upon detailed consultation with all stakeholders and his supporters in and outside the University, Ogundipe directed his lawyers to file a notice of discontinuance of the suit and that this had been done on August 21, 2020.
“This is to defer to the authority of the President as the Visitor of the University as Professor Ogundipe has enough time to challenge his purported removal.
“This falsehood is being spread to malign the court and blackmail the judiciary by enemies of the rule of law and due process,” he said.
Adegboruwa added that the general public is therefore advised to discountenance these mindless fabrications as the handiwork of those who were afraid of subjecting their illegal acts to the true test of probity and to be wary of fake news being peddled in place of truth, especially as they related to deliberate manipulation of court proceedings.
He said there was no time that the court sat to fix any date for the case.