Professor Raymond Atuguba of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana (Legon), has accused the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) of circumventing legal processes of inducting a new Vice-Chancellor (VC).
The governing council of the UEW yesterday inducted a new VC in the person of Prof Rev Fr. Anthony Afful-Broni despite some pending legal actions challenging his legitimacy.
His appointment followed investigations and the subsequent dismissal of the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Mawutor Avoke, who was hauled before the University Council Disciplinary Board for allegations of indiscipline.
Prof Avoke and four others, who were also dismissed, have since gone to court to challenge their dismissal.
Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was at the event as part of his Central regional tour.
But, Prof Atuguba in a statement issued to the media yesterday, was of the view that the event would be a test of whether President Akufo-Addo was truly a man who respected rule of law, since he would be the man to swear in the new VC whose legitimacy is being challenged at the Supreme Court.
According to Prof Atuguba, he has had to withdraw his legal representation for the former VC of UEW and his other embattled colleagues, in open court in the Cape Coast High Court, because he “sensed unseen hands operating to prevent one of the fairest judges I have ever appeared before, from dispensing justice speedily and justly, or at all.”
He added that, “the presence or absence of the President at the illegal induction of a new VC will confirm for me, at a personal level, whether or not the President was and/or is a part of those unseen hands, or at least did nothing, or intends to do nothing, to stop them”.
In what he called the facts of the matter, Prof Atuguba alleged a cabal was set up when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to power to pursue an ethnocentric agenda, which, among others, desperately sought the removal of the former VC of UEW, Professor Mawutor Avoke, and the former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Dr Wilberforce Dzisah.
He explained that the “cabal” used strategies, which included the misuse of courts, misuse of state investigative institutions, and victimisation of people who stood for justice and the abuse of the presidency.
Professor Atuguba further questioned why the governing council could not wait for the Supreme Court and the Cape Coast High Court to deliver their judgments before the induction ceremony since the judgments have the potential of making Professor Mawutor Avoke the Vice Chancellor?
He, however, noted that a new application for an injunction had been filed and was due to be heard yesterday morning and had the potential of stopping the ceremony.
Meanwhile, some lecturers of the UEW have challenged the assertion of tribal witch-hunt leveled by Prof Atuguba against authorities of the institution.
According to the lecturers who operate under the name, “Progressive Lecturers of UEW,” the statement by Prof Raymond Atuguba who happens to be a former lawyer for the deposed former VC was not only baseless but did not reflect events at the university.
The lecturers indicated that if there was anybody who really perpetuated ethnocentric tendencies at the university against the university statutes then it was the former VC “whose interest Dr Raymond Atuguba is pursuing.”
The former VC, the group explained, stocked key positions with his cronies even when there was clear evidence of inefficiencies on their part.
Speaking to journalists ahead of the investiture of Prof Afful Broni as the new VC for the University, the spokesperson for the lecturers, Alhassan Salifu Bawa, indicated that the university has a great person in Prof Aful-Broni as Vice Chancellor as his track record over the years showed that he has what it takes to propel the university to its higher level of development in an atmosphere of unity.
He indicated that the university since Prof Afful Broni took over as acting VC has seen tremendous improvement and peace.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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