General News of Thursday, 1 November 2018
A lawyer who represented one of the parties in the long-drawn legal battle at the University of Education, Winneba says a Supreme Court judgment on Wednesday that faulted a previous high court ruling changes nothing at the university.
Alexander Afenyo Markin, who represented Kofi Supi Kwayera at the Winneba High Court says the matter on which the apex ruled on is markedly different from the process that led to the removal of Prof Mawutor Avoke from office.
“The Supreme Court never ordered Prof Avoke to be reinstated…Prof Avoke was not dismissed on the orders of the [high] court. Prof Avoke was dismissed by the newly constituted Governing Council and he challenged that dismissal at the High Court, labour division, which application was decided upon on the 20th of September, 2018 and the court dismissed that action for want of jurisdiction,” he gave his understanding of the Supreme Court ruling on Joy News, Wednesday.
Kofi Supi Kwayera, a private citizen, initiated a process that led the Governing Council of the University to dismiss Prof Avoke and four principal officers of the university in August 2017.
Finance Officer, Dr. Theophilus Senyo Ackorlie, Daniel Tetteh, Mary Dzimey and Frank Owusu Boateng were removed from office for procurement and other breaches.
They were interdicted in July 2017 by the UEW governing council to facilitate investigations.
The Governing Council said their interdiction was necessary after vital documents that would have facilitated an ongoing investigation into allegations of financial irregularities went missing.
Prof Anthony Afful-Broni was recently inducted as the fourth Vice-Chancellor of the institution, an event that has been condemned.
A legal practitioner, Edudzi Tamakloe, has, however, given a different view of the Supreme Court ruling.
According to him, the whole matter started with the application by Mr Kwayera at the Winneba High Court which hinged on two issues- the alleged breaches of the Public Procurement Act and the fact that the defunct governing council of the University had overstayed [its] tenure.
“I had the opportunity of seeing the handwritten judgement…the Supreme Court made it clear that the actual ruling and its reasoning will be made available, however, they gave a very short reasoning: the fact that evidence was not taken in the action that was originated by the writ at the Winneba High Court and the fact that at least the requirement of natural justice should have been complied with,” he said on Newsnite on Joy FM.
He added: “It cannot be entirely true that what happened in the Winneba High Court has nothing to do with the removal or the interdiction of Professor Mawutor Avoke…It cannot be said that what has happened has nothing to do with his purported removal from office.”
Edudzi Tamekloe believes the Supreme Court ruling should pave the way for Prof Avoke and the other persons removed by the university’s Governing Council to be heard.