Court chastises authorities of UEW for closing university

University of Education, Winneba

The Winneba High Court has chastised the authorities of the University of Education Winneba (UEW) for closing the university quite against what the court ordered last Tuesday.

According to the court, it never ordered that the university should be closed.

Graphic Online’s Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson, who covered the court’s proceedings in Winneba on Friday morning reported that, the court said it ordered that the three principal officers – the Vice Chancellor, the Registrar and the Financial Officer (Director of Finance) were to cease operations until the determination of the suit.

Additionally, the court presided over by Mr Justice William Ato Mills-Graves, also chastised the media for reporting that the university was closed following the court’s ruling.

The Member of Parliament for Effutu, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, a lawyer by profession, who had represented the plaintiff in court on Tuesday had argued in a radio interview that, the court never ordered the closure of the university.

He said: “The registrar of the institution is up to some mischief with some people and that, in itself, I am sure, will give rise to another action in court. So, simply put, I will say that the court did not order the closure of the university.”

Read also: Court didn’t order UEW closure – Afenyo-Markin

Hawkson reported that the court was angry with the three officers when the case came up for hearing in Winneba on Friday morning.

Subsequently, the Registrar told the court that the university would be re-opened.

The court adjourned the case to July 10, 2017 to rule on an application by the university asking the court to dismiss the case.

According to the university, the Winneba High Court was not the proper forum the applicant should have initiated the case, and that it should have gone to the Supreme Court.

The university is also arguing that the applicant has no locus in the matter.

Meanwhile, the representative of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr Samuel Bekoe, has told Ebo Hawkson that, lecturers of the university will not go to work until the determination of the case.

He argued that, they felt their “employment is under attack.”

Related: UEW shuts down pending court decision on legitimacy of governing council

Case

One Supi Kofi Kwayera, filed a suit at the Winneba High Court, challenging the legality of the Governing Council of the UEW.

According to the plaintiff, the council’s term of office expired in 2013 and therefore asked that the court should restrain the Vice-Chancellor and other senior members of staff from exercising their duties.

The court on Tuesday granted the injunction application pending the determination of the substantive case.

A statement issued by the university in response to the court case said, it was shutting down following a meeting with the university community.

It added, that was to ensure that the court order was not flouted.

“The registrar has been directed to by the university community at a meeting held on 13th June, 2017 to communicate the closure of all campuses of the university,” the statement said.

Reliefs

Among the reliefs the plaintiff was seeking includes a declaration that the extension of the mandate of the Governing Council of the 1st Respondent by the 2nd respondent to stay in office to perform such functions as a properly appointed council was in breach of Section 8 Act 672.

A declaration that all decisions taken by the defacto body of persons who constituted themselves as Governing Council is null and void and of no effect.

A declaration that the contracts awarded to Sparkxx Gh Ltd, Paabadu Construction and C-Deck, were done in breach of the Procurement Act (Act 663).

A declaration that all payments made to Lamas Ltd were done without the express written consent of the Ghana Highway Authority, and in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding and same must be refunded.

A declaration that the illegally appointed Principal Officers of the 1st Respondent willfully misappropriated public funds by failing to put to public tender for the construction of the North campus road and thereby causing financial loss to the state.

All graduates between 2013 and 2016 risk their certificates rendered invalid if the court goes on to give judgement in favour of the plaintiff.

In addition, all decisions including signatures of the Governing Council on certificates could be invalidated if the plaintiff’s suit finds favour with the court.

Source: Ghana | Graphic.com

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