Legon GRASAG Prez, Executives face impeachment

Some members of the University of Ghana branch of the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG) are calling for the impeachment of their President, Reginald Arthur and some executive members of the association including the Chairman of the Senate.

In a petition dated 16th May, 2015 signed by eight members in good standing and addressed to the chairman of the Judicial Committee of GRASAG and copied to the Dean of Student Affairs, and the Dean of Graduate Studies, the petitioners accused persons they want impeached of breaching various aspects of the student association’s constitution and demanded that they are removed from office.

The petition which is also supported by signatures of more than 20 members alluded to the failure of the treasurer to present a final financial statement to the student body before the end of the term of the executives which according to them is in contravention of article 4 (d) of the GRASAG Constitution.

“The executive council members have failed to render accounts for the GRASAG week celebration in which the President and the Treasurer decided to take upon themselves the title of ‘chief spending officers’ and sidelined a constitutionally mandated body which is the GRASAG WEEK CELEBRATION COMMITTEE as provided in Article 11 (d) of the Constitution,” the petition read in part.

Petitioners claimed executive members including the Vice President, Secretary, Organizing Secretary, Women’s Commissioner and Treasurer have also obstructed the work of auditors appointed by Senate which is the highest decision making body of the Association by failing to appear before it.

“Considering the limited time left for the academic calendar to end, it will be impossible for the Auditors to perform a good job and present the report to Senate at least two (2) weeks prior to the handing over as provided in Article 7(d) of the GRASAG Constitution…,”

Find below the full petition the eight GRASSAG members believe provides enough grounds to dismiss the executive and the chairman of the senate from office.

CONCERNED GRASAG MEMBERS- LEGON
16th May 2015
The Chairman,
Judicial Committee
Graduate Student Association of Ghana, Legon
Dear Sir,
PETITION FOR IMPEACHMENT
As members of GRASAG-LEGON in good standing, supported by more than twenty (20) other members of GRASAG-LEGON in good standing as required by Article 22(1) of the GRASAG Constitution, we write to inform you of our intention to commence an impeachment process against the executive members of the association as well as the Chairman of Senate. These executives are The President, The Vice President, The Secretary, The Organizing Secretary, The Women’s Commissioner and The Treasurer.

Below are the reasons for the impeachment:
One of the cardinal objectives of the Association is to champion the course of members in fighting for their rights and privileges as the laws of Ghana and/ or the Statutes establishing the University of Ghana may dictate. On 30th May 2015, the academic calendar of the university will end and yet, GRASAG members have been denied the right to access bursary. Likewise, a lot of GRASAG members have not received their souvenirs (3 exercise books &1 Lacoste) which they have duly paid for. Even those who have received theirs have only received part and not all of their items. This shows how negligent and inefficient the executives have been.

Article 4 (d) of the GRASAG Constitution mandates the Treasurer to present the final financial statement at least thirty (30) days before the handing over ceremony. All members of the Executive Council shall hold office for one academic year only according to Article 19 (1) of the same Constitution. The declaration of the elections was held on 4th May 2015. Meanwhile, Article 19 (2) of the constitution says “Newly elected members of the Executive Council shall be inducted into office within twenty-eight (28) days of the declaration of the final results of the election of new members of the Executive Council”. Effectively, the executives and the Senate Chairman have crippled this constitutional provision by not working within the time provided. In other words, they have acted contrary to the provisions of this Constitution and the Oaths of GRASAG.

On 12th May 2015, Senate called for a meeting with the reading of the Financial Statement as the agenda, but the Treasurer and the President both failed to attend the meeting without any official letter whatsoever to the Senate Secretary. The President and the Treasurer were seen by many on campus engaged in private affairs at the same time members and senators were sitting at the meeting. Meanwhile, Article 8 (3) enjoins All Executive Council members to be present at all Senate meetings, unless otherwise stated in a letter to the Secretary-to-Senate which shall be read to the Senate. This action by the President and the Treasurer is inimical to the interest of the members of GRASAG-LEGON

On the same 12th May 2015 meeting, the Chairman of Senate called off the meeting with the excuse that members did not constitute a quorum. The irony in the decision of the Senate Chairman to call off the meeting is that, there have been several senate meetings where budgets were approved without forming a quorum. The pick and choose attitude of the Senate Chairman is a demonstration of a negligent and inefficient leader.

The executive council members have failed to render accounts for the GRASAG week celebration in which the President and the Treasurer decided to take upon themselves the title of “chief spending officers” and sidelined a constitutionally mandated body which is the GRASAG WEEK CELEBRATION COMMITTEE as provided in Article 11 (d) of the Constitution.

The executive council has obstructed the work of the auditors appointed by Senate which is the highest decision making body of the Association by failing to appear before it. Considering the limited time left for the academic calendar to end, it will be impossible for the Auditors to perform a good job and present the report to Senate at least two (2) weeks prior to the handing over as provided in Article 7(d) of the GRASAG Constitution.

The President and the Treasurer have deliberately denied the other executives the right to perform their Constitutional duties and have rather arrogated to themselves certain powers which gives them the right perform the duties of the other executives.

Article 3 (a) of the Constitution gives the Electoral Commission the independence to perform its work and subject only to the Constitution. Yet, the Electoral Commission has been deliberately denied the obligatory funds due it, although funds have been released by the Dean of students’ affairs for the conduct of the just ended GRASAG elections.

The Executive Council has failed to announce the total number of LEGON-GRASAG members which makes it extremely difficult to calculate the amount of income received. There are reports that the Treasurer has personally collected over 100 dues, thus, Ghc75.00 per student from some students in the Weekend and Executive MBA class. Technically, Executive MBA and Weekend MBA students do not pay dues to GRASAG, yet these innovative way of collecting monies from people have not been properly accounted for. Foreign students pay GRASAG dues yet they do not receive any souvenir whatsoever.

The unwillingness of the Executive Council to strive at all times to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of GRASAG-LEGON has forced several Committee and Senate members to resign. Two Chairmen appointed to serve on the finance committee have resigned because the executive council is not willing to conform to the principle of strict accountability which is contrary to the Oaths of GRASAG-LEGON.

The executive council has denied the various committees the budgetary allocations approved by Senate and the Dean of Students. This has weakened the role of the Committees in the Association and has forced many committee members to resign.

On 17th April 2015, the current GRASAG President was accused of an attempt to rig the SRC elections in favor his preferred candidate. The GRASAG president was accused by Mr. Steve Forson, the software developer in charge of electronic voting at University of Ghana, who said on a national radio station (Asempa FM) that the GRASAG President attempted to give him some amount of money to manipulate results of the SRC elections. The President has not taken any serious action to clear his name from this allegation which has rather brought the name of the Association into dispute, public ridicule and contempt.

Inculpatory evidence shows that the GRASAG Executive Council has failed to provide the leadership which is expected from them.

We therefore demand that you and the Judicial Committee impeach and remove the entire GRASAG-LEGON Executive Council and Senate Chairman from office and cause them to provide detailed financial records to the auditors through Senate. If you do not, the continuing harm they do to this Association will certainly impact your children’s future as well as ours.

As a matter of concern, the University of Ghana Anthem reads:

Hail University of Ghana
The nation’s hope and glory
The place that bears the star of peace
That bids us all to do our best
Let the great Tower of learning
Inspire both young and old
May we proceed in unity to uphold the public cause?

//: Arise, arise O Legon
Defend the cause of freedom
Proceed in truth and integrity to make
Our nation proud //:
Signed
(PETITIONERS)
Ibrahim Anyass Ahmed
Augustine Farley
Vincent Akwasi-Bi
Kwabena Darko Akuamoah
Patrick Amarh
Courage McCarthy
Edmond Nana Kwame Nkrumah
Paa Kow Ackon
Cc:
The President, GRASAG-LEGON
The Vice President, GRASAG-LEGON
The Treasurer, GRASAG-LEGON
The Secretary, GRASAG-LEGON
The Organizing Secretary, GRASAG-LEGON
The Senate Chairman, GRASAG-LEGON
The Dean Student Affairs, UG, Legon
The Dean, Graduate Studies, UG, Legon
All Notice Boards (Graduate Hostels)


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