Economy

UEW BROUHAHA: One Lecturer Sacked, Another Slapped With One Year Suspension

The brouhaha at the University of Education, Winneba seems to take a new dimension every now and then ever since the standoff started some ten months ago.

In the new twist, a senior lecturer at the Social Studies Department (UEW) and a council member, Dr Samuel Ofori Bekoe has been sacked by the university’s council.

One other lecturer, Mr Epiphany Agbeshie (a Senior Assistant Registrar) has also been handed a one-year suspension without pay for gross disrespect towards the Governing Council, the Search Committee for Registrar, the Academic Board, the Acting VC, and for bringing the name of the University into disrepute.

The  severe and austere decision was taken by the university’s council, the highest decision making body of the institution at a meeting on March 28, 2018.

The Council, chaired by Professor Emmanuel Nicholas Abaka took the decision based on the findings and recommendations of a five-member committee established to look into allegations of death threat and gross misconduct against Dr Bekoe.

According to sources, all the sixteen members on the council unanimously endorsed the decision.

Meanwhile, when this website tried to get Dr Bekoe to comment on the matter via a text message, his reply was that his dismissal was yet to be communicated to him officially.

” That’s what I have heard, but I am yet to be officially notified in that direction.”

The fact of the matter is that Dr Bekoe is alleged to have threatened to attack members of the University council with knives and cutlasses after a disagreement at a meeting on February 22, 2018.

The threat prompted the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, Reverend Professor Anthony Afful Boni to report the matter to the Police.

But the learned Doctor in a statement rubbished the claims accusing the orchestrators of scheming to undermine his hard-won reputation.

He revealed that he only asked the council to follow due process by ensuring that the right thing was done but his wise council was ignored.

“My attention has been drawn to a write up circulating on social media platforms accusing me of throwing tantrums at the UEW Governing Council meeting that was held on the 22nd of February, 2018 and ending up by threatening to attack some members of the Council, including the Oman Odeefe of the Efutu Traditional Area, Neenyi Ghartey, with machete.

“The only disagreement that involved me at the said meeting was between the Chairman and I, and it was when he, in total disregard of provisions in the Statutes of UEW, started reading an obviously preprepared statement and purported it to be Council decisions indicating the appointment of the Pro VC, whose term of office expires on the 28th of February, 2018, to act as VC until the substantive VC is called back. And also the fact that Council was establishing a disciplinary committee to deal with the recommendations of the fact-finding committee.

“In the above instance, my response was to draw the Council Chairnan’s attention to the inappropriateness of his actions and the fact that those decisions were contrary to the Statutes of UEW, which we have all sworn to protect. The Chairman disregarded my protestations and went ahead to call for the meeting to come to an end. I immediately left for the house, since I needed to ensure that my kids were safe and sound.”

Background 

There has been a serious rife between the University of Education, Winneba and some lecturers ever since Supi Kofi Kwayera filed a writ at the Winneba High Court in May 2017, challenging the continuous stay in office of the university’s council.

Supi Kofi Kwayera avers that the mandate of the council had expired in November 2013.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mawutor Avoke and the Finance Officer, Dr Theophilus Senyo Ackorlie were then ordered by the Winneba High Court in July 2017 to hand over to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor until the final determination of the case.

The duo together with three other officials were later interdicted by the University’s council to avoid tampering with evidence following allegations of financial malfeasance leveled against them.

Following the development, the UTAG branch of UEW went to the Supreme Court praying that it overturns the High Court order to the Vice-Chancellor and Finance Officer.

The lecturers argued that the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case filed by Supi Kwayera.

UTAG also claimed the plaintiff at the High Court also had no interest in the matters of the university.

They alleged that the move was a witch-hunting tactics to keep out of office, the Vice-Chancellor and others out of office.

On 20th December 2017, the Supreme Court, upon an application by the University Teachers Association of Ghana, Winneba Chapter, (UTAG – UEW) quashed the decision of the High Court, Winneba to assume jurisdiction over the matter brought before it by Supi Kofi Kwayera and set aside the application of Supi Kofi Kwayera invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court.

Interestingly, the university’s Council, at its meeting on 28th December 2017, disregarded the Supreme Court’s order and went ahead to reappoint the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Reverend Professor Anthony Afful Boni as the acting Vice-Chancellor.

Credit: ghanaxtra.com