Students of Prof Ransford Gyampo at the University of Ghana on Monday, 7 October 2019 went into a frenzy amidst boos and heckles as he taught them in class following a BBC documentary which claims the Head of European Studies at the university engaged a female undercover reporter who posed as a student in “inappropriate” conduct.
Meanwhile, Prof Gyampo has hinted at suing the BBC over the investigative ‘sex for grades’ documentary scheduled to be premiered at 6 pm tonight.
Prof Gyampo was seen making what the documentary described as “numerous inappropriate demands” from the BBC reporter.
The secret video recordings also captured Prof Gyampo allegedly asking the undercover reporter’s hand in marriage in exchange for academic favours.
Prof Gyampo also allegedly asked for a kiss from the reporter in an excerpt of the documentary published on BBC Somalia’s Twitter handle.
The BBC also reports that Prof Gyampo refuted the accusations against him, citing entrapment.
Responding to the allegations after the excerpts of the video went viral, Prof Gyampo said: “My lawyers have prepared my suit even long before they aired, you saw the documentary. So, tomorrow morning, we will sue them [BBC] and go to court”
According to the lecturer, the “BBC must sit up, otherwise, they are as useless as any other media outlet that is not worth its salt”.
In his opinion: “The BBC of yesteryears that was independent and looks into matters from all angles is now the BBC of a few people who are paid by some politicians who do not like people who are independent-minded. They get paid and they get pushed to do their bidding”.
On the allegations of sexual misconduct, the lecturer said: “I have not slept with her and I didn’t sleep with her. I didn’t touch her; I haven’t done anything untoward”.
He continued: “I don’t care, once I haven’t done what they said I have done, my conscience is clean. I will continue to do what I know how to do best; I will teach, treat my students with love and respect, I will say my mind on all national issues at all times, damn the consequences”.
“I don’t care about them [BBC], I care about my nation – Ghana – I will continue to live a life of ingenuity and serve my nation”.
Prof Gyampo said prior to the incident, his assistant called him one day when he was about to rush to a meeting and he was told there was a lady who had come to see him but met his absence for more than 20 times.
“So, they brought her in”. … She said all manner of things,” Prof Gyampo narrated, adding, he asked her of her mission and gave her directions after she said she was researching on academic freedoms.
“Most of our conversations were held in my office where I had my four assistants here. How can I harass somebody in the full glare of my assistants? So, we shared conversations and we all laughed about it. The next thing I heard is that BBC said my conversations with her were inappropriate and it amounts to harassment. How did I harass her?” he questioned.
He said from the outset, the lady “was not my student, she is not even a student in the university, so, how do I manipulate the grades of somebody who is not even my student and a student of the university”.
He said the whole saga “is a calculated effort and attempt by some people to run my name and image in the mud. Maybe, to see if that will silence me and all that”.
Below is a full statement by Prof Gyampo:
Prof Gyampo writes:
Good Afternoon Folks,
1. I have been counselled to be silent on a matter of entrapment masterminded by a certain unscrupulous people, with the aid of BBC (African Eye) against me.
2. Unfortunately, my students this afternoon also insisted that I say something to clear the air. I am grateful to them for the support they showed me this afternoon. I am grateful to all my friends for the numerous phone calls and messages to show solidarity. For my haters who were expecting to see the worst video, and actually texted to rejoice over what they think is going to be my downfall, I forgive them.
3. I have a lot to say about this matter. But I am suing the BBC for defamation tomorrow, so I will keep some of the facts to myself for now.
4. Let me state, however, that I have not involved myself in the BBC's so-called sex for grades and will never do so. Their own video documentary evidence could not establish this. I am aware of my University's Sexual Harassment Policy and I have always adhered to its dogmas.
5. The lady involved in my informal conversation was not my student and she wasn’t also a student from the University of Ghana where I teach. I, therefore, cannot decipher how I could manipulate the grade of a non-student. The BBC ignored all her contributions to our conversation. They ignored all her messages she sent to me. They ignored my objections and letters written to refute their allegations. They also edited the video to suit their purpose.
6. While I prepare to sue the BBC for carrying out the most bogus and unprofessional piece of documentary in the world so far, I wish to remind them that Ghana and for that matter, Africa, has long thrown out the yoke of colonialism.
7. We are an independent continent with our own institutions that can handle internal matters. There cannot be much talk about strengthening institutions when they are blatantly prevented from doing their work by needless intruders like the BBC. The University of Ghana where I teach has credible outfit and mechanisms for dealing with matters of harassment. Why did the BBC refuse to encourage the one harassed to report the matter? Sexual harassment is also a criminal matter. Why has the BBC refused to report the matter?
8. I am aware of those behind this, just for the purposes of gagging me. But I wish to assure them that I remain Yaw Gyampo. I won’t be silenced. Their worst may be to kill me. But in as much as I love my family, I won’t be scared to die in the course of keeping regimes on their toes, without malice, just for the purposes of shaping our governance landscape.
I have not engaged in any so-called sex for grades and I will stay true to my calling in doing my best for God, students and country.
PAV Ansah Street
Suro Nipa House