Bastardisation of the Judiciary under Akufo-Addo; University of Education, Winneba saga

Akufo Uew1 President Akufo-Addo with Rev. Prof. Fr. Anthony Afful-Broni, new Vice Chancellor of UEW

Sat, 29 Sep 2018 Source: Kweku Takyi

There they go! They never fail to disappoint when it comes to resorting to vitriolic attacks to vindicate themselves. It is amazing the level and how low some people can go to denigrate, tell visible lies and destroy anyone on sight just to achieve their own parochial and greedy agenda. These people have never focused on the issues but have rather turned the whole thing into personal vendetta and playing on the emotions of members of the unsuspecting public in an attempt to sustain their very bad case.

They have played all manner of cards from tribal, to political, to academic, to judicial, purely to set tinder on the emotions of people in an attempt to incite them against the management and Council of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

They have run down institutions including the Winneba High Court, some investigative bodies and surprisingly now, the Cape Coast High Court- their own handpicked court- to deliver justice to them. As for individuals, they have spared no one in sight.

Eventually, they have landed at the door-steps of the first gentleman of the land. That's how far they can go! Isn't it surprising that they make wild allegations and yet bring forth nothing of substance to substantiate those allegations? Is the writer insinuating that Hon. Afenyo Markin can pocket the entire judiciary and by extension, Ghana? Eiii! Is it true that these people went around begging for intervention from some prominent chiefs and the corridors of power? Why are they calling on a compromised Attorney-General to seek a review of all rulings on the UEW matter? Isn't it the same people who claimed there were no rulings? Double standards indeed!

Isn't it surprising that the same people who accused His Excellency Nana Addo of sitting aloof while innocent people suffer amidst the principle of separation of powers, on the other breathe, suggest that His Excellency is pulling the strings behind the scenes? Of course, it's easy to perceive the machinations and hypocrisy of these shameless fabricators who at all cost are bent on misleading the public on the issues.

The substantive issues bother on the illegal extension of the mandate of Council and the consequent illegal appointment of the then Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Mawutor Avoke, and FO, Theophilus Ackorlie, procurement breaches and graft. Why haven't they raised a defence against these issues?

These were issues raised by a concerned and public-spirited person, an indigene of Efutu who couldn't look on for these crimes to be perpetrated against the University and the state. Indeed, when he was hauled to the Supreme Court, he only ended up earning the admiration and plaudit of the apex court for his public spiritedness.

The only defence they managed to raise was on technical grounds to the effect that the individual who sought the reliefs at the Winneba High Court didn't have the capacity. What Council and Management have done is only to follow due process to gather facts to defend the good image of the University. Nothing more!

These same people ran down the Winneba High Court and its judge and bolted to the Cape Coast High Court where they believed fervently that they would have justice. What changed? Why did they appear in court clad in white the last time the cases were called on 31st July 2018? Why did they impress on the judge in court to rule on the cases by all means? Why were they livid when their much-anticipated rulings weren't delivered?

Could we reasonably conclude that there were some underhand dealings on their part and so their expectations were violated? Please focus on the legal issues and stop the propaganda and playing to the gallery. At this point, I'm as confused as the writer as to who exactly is bastardising the judiciary.

Let these people come out to tell exactly what the so-called pronouncements of the Cape Coast Judge were in respect of Council towards the rights of the dismissed VC and his colleagues. If they feel he's the only person within the judiciary who can give them justice, why don't they follow him to his new court? After all, he's within the jurisdiction of Ghana. What should His Excellency Nana Addo do? Is he suggesting that he interferes in the judicial or internal disciplinary processes?

His Excellency Nana Addo has demonstrated that indeed he's a believer of the rule of law by allowing due process to be followed both internally and at the courts. In so doing, he's saved his reputation. This is the way politicians should go; not meddle in lawful processes that have the tendency of making matters messier.

The suggestion that the Council is made of only Prof. Emmanuel Nicholas Abekah and Rev. Fr. Prof. Afful-Broni is lethargic if not mischievous. It represents a clear lack of understanding of the complex but carefully crafted nature of the Council not to give an advantage to any person or group of persons. The claim that Hon. Afenyo Markin recommended all members of the Council for appointment is completely false.

It must be put on record that the Minister of Education nominates 4 members. If we even proceed on the wrong trajectory and assumption offered by our so-called erudite writer, we can have a total of 4 appointees of government supposedly influenced by Hon. Afenyo Markin out of the 17-member Council.

Since when did 4 become greater than 13 for anyone to suggest that Hon. Markin has packed the Council with his men to do his bidding? I invite everyone to read Section 6(2) of Act 672 of 2004( the UEW Act) to verify for themselves the nature and composition of the UEW Council and determine for themselves whether what the writer is alleging is ingenious.

We're confronted with a scenario of a pot calling the kettle black when in the extract from the writer's piece he alleges"... While the Substantive VC has been dismissed without any cause and has been replaced by a fraud with fake publications in the name of Afful-Broni."

It would be recalled that the newly appointed Council under the Leadership of Prof. Emmanuel Nicholas Abekah, confronted with the UEW troubles on the onset of their term duly constituted a Fact-Finding Committee to investigate the allegations and concerns at the time to enable it to gather evidence to defend the University in the case against Supi Kwayera. However, the committee in its interim report requested for its terms of reference and scope of investigations to be widened, and for some officers who had come into the scope of their investigations to step aside.

The Council in its resolve to get to the bottom of the matter granted the request by the Fact-Finding Committee. Consequently, the said officers namely; the former VC, Prof. Mawutor Avoke, the Finance Officer, Dr. Theophilus Ackorlie, Deputy Finance Officer, Mr Frank Owusu Boateng, the Internal Auditor, Ms. Sena Dake, the Ag. Procurement Officer, Ms. Mary Dzimey and the Deputy Director of Works, Ing. Daniel Tetteh were interdicted to make way for the investigations.

The Fact-Finding Committee eventually submitted its reports to the Council who upon deep deliberations concluded that the interdicted persons mentioned above had questions to answer. In accordance with the University's Act, Statute and other regulations governing the activities of the University, the Council set up various disciplinary boards to give the interdicted officers hearing in accordance with internal disciplinary processes.

These processes eventually led to the dismissal and subsequent appointment of Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni on his own merit. I shall find time to give better and further particulars on this matter. It can't be true that Prof. Avoke and his colleagues were dismissed without any just cause. In any case, the avenues for redress are still opened to them but while doing so, they can't reasonably expect the University to come to a halt.

They can't expect that it should be the President of the land fighting for them. They know too well the steps to take and that does not include churning out lies, fabrications and attacking the integrity of certain revered people. The inference to Rev. Fr. Prof. Afful-Broni as being a fraud with fake publications is laughable. Who doesn't know the qualification and experience of Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni?

The writer knows too well the procedure to expose these so-called fraudulent publications. Even our Constitution enjoins us to combat and expose fraud in public life. I think the writer can do better in his so-called enlightened capacity as a Doctor. He doesn't help the discussion by not putting forth any iota of evidence. Perhaps he's exposing his own self under his fraudulent pseudo name.

Let no one be deluded into thinking that UEW will go down with them. UEW as an institution must and will move on. Let everyone know that it isn't about self-interests but about the interest of the University. It is absolutely imperative for those who feel strongly that they've been dealt with unjustly to use due process to seek redress and surely destiny will have a date with them if indeed their claims are true.

In the interim, they shouldn't water down their case by throwing unnecessary impediments on the way of the University or cast aspersions on certain individuals with the view of making them good and winning the sympathies of the public. Congratulations Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni on your appoint as the substantive VC.

I wish you well and believe firmly that you'll lead us to greater heights under your tenure. I can only but pledge, I believe with the support of other well-meaning people, our commitment to your administration. We look forward with excitement to the prospects and opportunities under your able leadership.

Kweku Takyi


Columnist: Kweku Takyi