In the next three months, Prof Babatunde Solagberu may have to defend himself against allegations of misconducts that resulted in his suspension from office as Provost of the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) with effect from last Thursday.
The Lagos State University (LASU) in its December 4 bulletin barred Solagberu from carrying out the functions of Provost or as member of staff of LASUCOM during the suspension. He cannot also step on the premises except if permitted by the Registrar.
The Deputy Provost, Prof Anthonia Ogbera, is to act as provost until Solagberu’s case is decided.
Solagberu’s alleged’disrespect’ for authority may have set him on collision course with some of his colleagues as well as the university authority.
“Solagberu acts as if he knows it all,” said a source.
“He (Solagberu) was running the college as if it was autonomous without recourse to the vice chancellor (VC). All entreaties to make him change his mind never yielded fruits.”
“This is a man who writes and talks too much and recklessly too and implicates himself in the process. He only finds faults in others but sees himself as above board. Though young, he talks with pride and even insults professors far older than him.”
Sources said following allegations of misconduct the management requested to look into LASUCOM’s books but Solagberu rebuffed the move.
Things got to a head when Solagberu reportedly shunned the VC, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun’s directive that the college be audited. Solagberu allegedly wrote back to the management, saying LASUCOM was autonomous, adding that the VC lacked such powers.
The audit was eventually carried out.
Before that, Solagberu had disallowed LASU from what it called “interfering in LASUCOM’s affairs.”
A member of staff, who does not want to be named, said the issue involved a lecturer Solagberu tried to discipline for alleged disrespect and poor work ethics. The university management wrote to stop the investigation but Solagberu allegedly replied that it had no right whatsoever to intervene.
The source said: “The woman in question is one of our young but most brilliant lecturers in LASUCOM.
“When this woman realised that the committee comprised some of the provost’s cronies and therefore she might not get justice, she cried out and that was how LASU management got wind of the matter and directed the panel investigating to stop work and transfer the matter to the management. But Solagberu stated categorically that management legally had no mandate to direct the stoppage. The panel was then allowed to conclude the investigation before sending the report to the management.”
On Solagberu’s alleged arrogance, another source said: “There was a time he came to the council meeting and announced before everybody that he wanted to report his boss (VC) to the Council chairman.
“The chairman of council then asked him if he had intimated the VC prior to the meeting and he said no. The chairman then put his foot down that Solagberu could not raise such issues on the floor of the Council. That was where the whole matter ended.”
Some non-teaching staff in LASUCOM said they saw their boss’ ordeal coming.
The sources noted that Solagberu was only behaving like some of his predecessors who ran the institution without recourse to the VC who by the edict setting up LASU, should superintend everything.
When asked to comment on the matter, the university’s Acting Public Relations Office, Mr Adekoya Martin, said the bulletin containing the interdiction had not yet been “officially approved” by management.
He said allegations in the public domain, were still speculations.
While not denying the information in the bulletin, Adekoya said the university management was already investigating to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the allegations.
“The information (on the bulletin) was actually from the university; but it has not yet been approved before it got into the public domain. Read more