Some members of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have alleged that the committee saddled with the shortlisting of candidates for the position of UNILAG vice chancellor was tilting towards a particular candidate.
The selection process has been greeted with criticisms even as a source in the university told The Guardian that there were some misgivings in the selection procedures. A source who pleaded anonymity, alleged that the shortlisting committee altered the selection criteria to favour their candidate.
He said the process has become a subject of controversy, adding that the committee that did the screening and shortlisting altered the criteria and that from all indications the selection was done with bias.
“They gave higher marks to one of their candidates, who now has a clear advantage over the others and all the applicants from the non-science disciplines were technically excluded, as they chose only those who had been published in some science journals.
“Besides shortlisting the candidates, they also did ranking with scores in such a way that they created a wide gap that even the upcoming interview will not make any difference. The schemers have also perfected plans to infiltrate the selection committee,” he added.
The source also argued that although the council chairman has not listed the prerequisites, if they sustain the ranking, the interview would no longer be necessary. “As things stand, the interview will be a mere formality. I urge the chairman of council to look into the misdeeds,” he said.
The Guardian, however, learnt that the University Senate would meet on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 to select those who will do the proper selection, as the successor of the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Rahamon Adisa Bello, would be picked on October 27, 2017.
The source alleged that a group was already trying to influence the election of the selectors in their bid to impose a particular candidate on the university, adding that an SMS purported to be from the group is already in circulation to collaborators.
The SMS sighted by The Guardian reads: “Council shortlisted candidates for the Vice Chancellor position on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. The Senate will be voting for two professors to serve on the selection board on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Confidential information: Please vote for Prof. O. Makanju and Prof. O. A. Otubanjo. We’ll discuss face-to-face when we meet. Deo volente.”
Responding to the allegations, the Registrar and Secretary of Council, Dr. Taiwo Ipaye, said: “I have no information to that effect.”
But information on the institution’s website endorsed by Ipaye stated that, “an eligible candidate for the post of vice-chancellor must be an exemplary scholar with good quantum of publications in highly rated journals.”
Further checks revealed that from item one to 12 of the criteria listed on the institution’s website, it was not stipulated anywhere that only those in the sciences were eligible for the vice chancellorship position.
Meanwhile, Deputy Registrar (Information Unit), Adebule Toyin, has dismissed the allegations, saying they were not true.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Adelaja Odukayo, dismissed the allegations, adding that UNILAG and its Senate could not afford to toy with the vice chancellor position.