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Sex for grades: Don’t needlessly ‘skapegoat’ Gyampo – ASEPA boss to UG

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 Source: Starr FM

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has urged authorities of the University of Ghana not unfairly punish Professor Ransford Gyampo over the BBC’s sex for grade documentary.

According to him, the Committee that probed the allegations against the poliical science lecturer by the BBC could not establish his guilt.

“My investigations reveal that the Committee could not establish the allegations of sexual harassment and sex for grade against Prof Gyampo and discredited the credibility of the video.

“It has been revealed that the video was carefully edited to shield the BBC reporter and to implicate the Professor. In this regard, Abigail Lamptey’s efforts to trap, lure and elicit a certain kind of conversation were all cut out from the video in a a way that creates an impression that she was a passive contributor,” he wrote in a statement.

He added: ” It will be interesting for anyone to prove misconduct on the part of the Professor who was engaged in a private conversation with a non student and never knew he was secretly being recorded without his permission. If the one who innocently spoke without knowing was being recorded could be asked to answer questions on charges of misconduct, then how about the one who went on a pre-meditated mission to trap, record, doctor the recording, and deliberately put the video in the public domain? We should be careful not to set needless precedents, else in future, a frosty relationship between a lecturer who is a tenant and his land lord on rent matters can even become a subject for a charge of misconduct. But this wasn’t the intention of those who framed the Statute”.

Meanwhile, the a fact-finding committee set up to investigate the issue by the university has found prima facie evidence of breaches of the University’s Code of Conduct and Statutes and has recommended that the matter be brought before the University’s Disciplinary Committee.

The Committee, chaired by Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo, a retired Supreme Court Judge, noted in its report to the Vice-Chancellor that there is prima facie evidence of misconduct against Professor Gyampo and Dr. Butakor contrary to Paragraph 6.4 of the Code of Conduct for Academic Staff of the University of Ghana, which stipulates that Academic Staff shall at all times comport themselves in ways that will enhance their image and that of the University.’

Below are details of the statement by ASEPA

Prof Gyampo Was Exonerated from the Accusation of Sexual Harassment and Sex For Grade

1. The University of Ghana’s Fact Finding Committee that investigated allegations of sex for grade against Prof Ransford Gyampo submitted its report to the Vice Chancellor last week with some minor findings.

2. My investigations reveal that the Committee could not establish the allegations of sexual harassment and sex for grade against Prof Gyampo and discredited the credibility of the video.

3. It has been revealed that the video was carefully edited to shield the BBC reporter and to implicate the Professor. In this regard, Abigail Lamptey’s efforts to trap, lure and elicit a certain kind of conversation were all cut out from the video in a a way that creates an impression that she was a passive contributor.

4. In matters like this, a complainant must be present and be cross examined. But the BBC reporter rudely snubbed the University when she was invited to appear before the facts finding committee to be cross examined and assist in investigations. Neither the Abigail Lamptey nor the BBC itself showed up to assist in the investigations to help authenticate the video contents and the allegations captured in it.

5. Despite this challenge, the University of Ghana feels the Professor should answer some charges that bother rather on general misconduct, and not on sex for grade.

6. Interestingly, the provisions in the University Statutes quoted are expected to regulate the relationship between members of the University community. The question is : was the BBC reporter a member of the University community? Can anyone from anywhere intrude into our premier university to undertake investigations, attend lectures and do anything they please without knowledge and authorization from the University? Must we destroy our own just because a foreign media organization wants us to do so?

7. It will be interesting for anyone to prove misconduct on the part of the Professor who was engaged in a private conversation with a non student and never knew he was secretly being recorded without his permission. If the one who innocently spoke without knowing was being recorded could be asked to answer questions on charges of misconduct, then how about the one who went on a pre-meditated mission to trap, record, doctor the recording, and deliberately put the video in the public domain? We should be careful not to set needless precedents, else in future, a frosty relationship between a lecturer who is a tenant and his land lord on rent matters can even become a subject for a charge of misconduct. But this wasn’t the intention of those who framed the Statute.

8. Must the University find the Professor guilty at all cost to please the BBC and those who hate the guts of the Professor? Can this matter be heard by the disciplinary committee without a complainant in contravention of the laws of the University itself?

9. So far, I am happy about the composure of Prof Gyampo. I urge him to remain sober, calm and meet whatever committee with his legal team. Some of us are prepared to help by joining his team of lawyers.

10. I commend the University for its public show of resolve to deal with infractions of its laws. But there should be no needless scapegoating and unnecessary witch-hunting just to look good. It is not easy for a young man who is barely forty years to rise through the ranks to attain the academic fame and the kind of national influence Prof Gyampo has.

11. Doing all we can as a people to destroy such a genius will hurt us more rather than help us.

12. If the guy committed sexual offenses as alleged by the BBC, he must be dealt with and we cannot shield or condone that. But if this never happened, why must we try to look for faults at all cost, from a discredited video documentary?

13. May God save us from the kind of mentality that imposes white superiority over us and compels us to destroy our own nation builders and good brains.

Mensah Thompson

Executive Director, ASEPA

Source: Starr FM
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