The crisis rocking the selection process of the 13th Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan deepened as petitions to discredit and affirmed the authenticity have continued to emerge in recent times.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka have been accused to influence selection process and paved way for Prof. Kayode Adebowale is the current Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic.

Freshpage had earlier reported that the two contestants who lost out in their bid to become members of the Joint Senate Selection Committee have petitioned the Chairman of Governing Council and  called for the cancellation of results saying the whole election process lack transparency.

However, Prof. Akinsola in petition as one of the contestants affirmed that the said election was free, fair and credible while the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) also argued through it petition to the Chairman Governing Council called for the cancellation of the whole process.

The crisis aggravated after when this media outfit gathered from reliable source that the petitions addressed and submitted to the Governing Council will be addressed by the Senate led by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Olayinka who has been alleged planning to install his ‘annointed’ candidate.

The source who spoke with FRESHPAGE cited seven questions about the credibility of the whole process. The questions according the source are;

  1. Who is the primary recipient of the petitions between Senate and Governing Council?
  2. Does the Senate empowered to attend to issues raised in the petitions?
  3. Should the Senate have procedural rights to attend to matter, does the Chairman or VC have the moral obligation to stand in case in which he is already implicated as an interested party?
  4. Would it not be better if the VC excused himself to have level-playing grounds?
  5. Would it not therefore be more dignifying if the VC acts accordingly to his own conscience as a free supporter of his own candidate?
  6. Is impartiality possible in the face of noted partisanship?
  7. If the selection, which caused the petitions, was conducted for the Joint Council/Senate (Selection) Board, would it not be most apposite to have the representation of both Council and Senate in any investigative exploration of the controverted electoral process?

In a copy of another petition submitted to the Council by one of the earlier petitioners, Prof. Demola Dasylva and obtained by FRESHPAGE raised these questions.

The new petition dated 5th October read in parts:

Sir, permit me to draw your kind attention to paragraphs three and four of the Vice-Chancellor’s memo:

You will recall further that in company with your good self and the Bursar, I immediately arranged a meeting with the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council at about 9:45 am that morning before our flight from Jos to Lagos. I briefed the Pro-Chancellor on Professor Dasylva’s petition. I advised the Pro-Chancellor and he accepted that Senate should deal with the petition.

Sir, my objection to the holding of the scheduled Senate meeting stems from the following observations:

The Election of the Two Representatives of Senate on the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor was directed by the Governing Council, and the petitions under reference were addressed to the Governing Council through you as the Chairman. Therefore, the Governing Council, not Senate, is the primary recipient.

I addressed the petition to the Governing Council with the awareness and understanding that, procedurally, the Council has itsdesignated Committee that attends to petitions. Therefore, the question of directing the Vice-Chancellor or the Senate to look into the matter should not arise.

Put differently, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council cannot devolve the powers to deal with the petition solely meant for the Governing Council to the Senate. An official matter of grave importance and magnitude such as this should remain a Governing Council matter as the petition was intended to be.

As the Returning Officer in the Election of which the process and conduct were allegedly compromised technically, fraught with procedural improprieties, as well as lacking in transparency, the Registrar is implicated in the petitions. Also implicated in my petition is the Vice-Chancellor who has not hidden his desperation to install, by all means, Prof. Adebowale, one of the aspirants and the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Admin.) as the next Vice-Chancellor. All the people mentioned in my petition are the Vice-Chancellor’s foot soldiers. They are the ones strategically positioned to ensure that the process is compromised in favour of Prof. Adebowale, an aspirant, and the Vice-Chancellor’s anointed candidate.

The suggestion made by the Vice-Chancellor that the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Senate should allow Senate to handle the petition is morally and procedurally inappropriate. This is because the petition was addressed to Council, not Senate. The two bodies (Council and Senate) do not have the same powers and areas of jurisdiction. I suppose that the Vice-Chancellor is not oblivious of this when he noted, in his interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on 1 October 2020, that,

Since this matter has already been laid before the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, it is only decent that I do not comment any further at this point on the merit or otherwise of the grievances of the two colleagues who are members of the University Senate.

One would, therefore, expect that the Vice-Chancellor should continue to maintain a considerable distance from the petitions, which are laid, neither before him nor Senate, but before the Pro-Chancellor and Council members.

The petition is technically against the proceedings, action and inaction of the Electoral Committee of the Senate of which the Vice-Chancellor is the Chairman. This is because the Senate is the body that conducted the election and its members were the electorates that voted, including the Vice-Chancellor himself. Accordingly, it is legally and logically right to assume that ‘all members’ of Senate are interested parties. Therefore, the petition can only be entertained and addressed by disinterested parties, and I find that in the Council, not Senate. It was on this understanding and consideration that I ab initio sent my petition to Council, not Senate.

Besides, the Vice-Chancellor who is also the Chairman of Senate, has already shown evidence of bias and prejudice. This is evident, and all the more telling, in the two Press interviews he granted on the Election of 21 September, 2020, and on the petitions. I the interview he granted to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), for instance, on 1 October 2020, he was quoted as having said as follows:

From the foregoing, electronic voting has worked very well at the University of Ibadan since it was first introduced in July 2019 for all the six elections conducted…. The vast majority of members of senate are very happy with the outcome of all the elections conducted by electronic voting, including the one held on 21st Sept., 2020.

The above submission by the Vice-Chancellor is indicative of the fact that he has ipso facto formed an opinion about the election and has, therefore, lacked the capacity to be objective in dealing with any petitions against the election which he has already adjudged transparent. To restate the point, sir, the Vice Chancellor is not qualified to serve as an umpire in this matter. The two major Press interviews he has granted so far, clearly implicate his orchestrated plan to replace fair play with illegitimate action. I am aware that he has continued to vilify my person and others who advocate transparency and level playing ground for all aspirants. My resolve is not to be silent in the face of outright calumny and injustice. Sir, I appeal to you based on the foregoing to use your good offices to prevail on the Vice-Chancellor, also chairman of the Senate, to refrain from holding the scheduled Senate meeting over my petition which is formally before Council and not before Senate and in which the Vice-Chancellor and members of Senate are interested parties. The scheduled Senate meeting (to discuss the petition duly served) is illegal and procedurally wrong, and it shows desperation on the part of the Vice-Chancellor and those scheming the agenda together with him. On the ground of evident logic, I maintain that both the Registrar and the Vice-Chancellor have been implicated, therefore, they do not have the moral obligation to stand in a case in which they are already implicated as interested parties. More significantly, on the part of the Vice-Chancellor, impartiality is impossible in the face of noted partisanship. My prayer is hinged on the dictum that one should not be a judge in one’s own case.

 

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