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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Court throws out injunction against UEW over appointment of Pro-Vice Chancellor

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A High Court in Winneba, presided over by Her Ladyship, Justice Janapare Bartels Kodwo, has thrown out an injunction and certiorari application filed by Dr. Kaakyire Duku Frimpong against the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

The injunction by Duku, a lecturer and President of the UTAG-UEW, sought to challenge the Vice Chancellor’s power to nominate three candidates for election to occupy the position of a pro-Vice-Chancellor.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor’s election slated for June 13 this year was postponed a day before the election, due to an application filed against the respondent institution.

In court today [Monday] her Ladyship Justice, Janapare Bartels Kodwo dismissed the said application on procedural grounds and awarded a cost of 5,000 cedis against the applicant, Dr. Kaakyire Duku Frimpong.

Dr. Duku Frimpong had alleged in his suit that participation in the process for the election of a Pro-Vice-Chancellor was being limited to a chosen few to the disadvantage of other equally qualified persons.

Dr. Duku had told Citi News that the unlawful conventions must be immediately discontinued to allow for the right processes to be used in the selection.

“When you practice a convention for a period, it doesn’t make it a law. What used to be where senior-most professors were nominated, things have now changed. We need to revisit our statutes and use what the statutes say. The nomination should be avoided. Whoever is interested and qualified per the statutes should avail himself or herself to be elected,” he said.

This development comes in the wake of a request from the Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo Markin for the reinstatement of dismissed Vice-Chancellor of the school, Professor Mawutor Avoke.

Mr. Markin has written to the Governing Council of the UEW, calling for steps to be taken to reinstate Professor Avoke.

“I have read in detail the report of EOCO and it appears regrettable that Rev Father Professor Afful Broni who was the lead complainant of the procurement irregularity and persistently urged my office to pursue same was indicted whereas his boss, Prof. Mawutor Avoke and the Finance Officer, Dr. Theophilus Senyo Akorlie were completely exonerated by EOCO of any wrongdoing.”

“I expect that in the interest of justice and fairness, your council upon receipt of this report will do the needful and take appropriate action. I need to reiterate that Ghanaians are following the events of the Education of Winneba keenly,” excerpts of his letter had said.

Afenyo Markin’s letter came days after former President Jerry John Rawlings wrote to the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, making the same demands.

Background

The Efutu Member of Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin in May 2017 petitioned EOCO through the Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, with 13 allegations against some principal officers of the University.

The officers included; former Vice-Chancellor Prof Mawutor Avoke, former Registrar Akwaah-Mensah and Former Head of Finance, Theophilus Senyo Akorlie.

EOCO, in addition to the three investigated officials, also questioned a former VC for the University, Prof. Akwasi Asabere Ameyaw, the Winneba Area Manager for Ghana Highways Authority, Mensah Bedie, and the Authority’s Chief Technical Officer also for Winneba, Lawrence Lamptey.

The investigations concluded that the University complied with the provisions of the Public Procurement Authority Act as amended in its award of contracts to Sparkx Ghana Limited for five distinct projects.

Similarly, it concluded that the University followed due process when it selected Paa Badu Construction Limited for the construction of a 2000-Bed Hostel and another to C-Deck Limited for the construction of a clinic extension at Winneba as well as a Basic School at Kumasi.

This is contrary to Mr. Afenyo-Markin’s allegations that the Officers did not follow the due process in the award of the contracts.

EOCO in its report, also noted that there was no evidence to establish any act of impropriety against the Officers for a 3 percent investment paid to the management staff of the University.

It also dismissed Mr. Afenyo’s allegation that the University failed to use national competitive tendering in the purchase of 8 pick-up trucks which cost the Institution eight hundred thousand Ghana cedis.

EOCO concluded in its report that the allegations were unfounded, baseless and untrue.

Prof. Avoke had on several occasions attempted to take back his previous position but to no avail.

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