Court throws out application challenging powers of UEW VC over Pro-VC nominations

General News of Monday, 18 November 2019



University of Education, Winneba entrance

The Winneba High Court on Monday threw out an application seeking to injunct and quash the decision of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba from nominating three persons for the Pro-Chancellor position of the university.

The applicant, Dr. Kaakyire Frimpong Duku who is also the President of the UEW’s University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), went to court to challenge the powers of the VC from appointing three persons to go into the contest of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor position.

The election that was scheduled for June 13, 2019 had to be postponed due to the application before the court.

JoyNews correspondent, Richard Kwadwo Nyarko reports that the applicant’s position was that, the decision of the Management of the University, permitting the Vice-Chancellor to nominate candidates for Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s election, was against the UEW statutes.

The same he argues, is not categorically stated in the statutes therefore, seeking certiorari to quash the administrative decision and injunction to stop the practice was in order.

Counsel for the respondents, Paa Kwesi Abaidoo, argued that what the applicant is complaining of is a custom in the University right from its inception which has crystallised into usage, practice and a convention.

“Although it is not categorically stated in the statutes of the university, it has the force of law because it has become a convention.

“The position of the Applicant that nomination of persons to Pro-Vice-Chancellor is not limited to only Professors is flawed because the same UEW statues mentioned that in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor it is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor who acts,” he stated.

The law states categorically clear that only a Professor qualifies for the position of a Pro-Vice-Chancellor and thus if the Pro-Vice-Chancellor is not a Professor, how can he step into the shoes of the office of the Vice-Chancellor, he argued further.

Delivering her ruling before a packed court at the Winneba High Court on Monday, November 18, Justice Janapare Bartels explained the university is not an adjudicating body or a quasi-judicial body to be governed by the prerogative writs.

“Article 12 of the 1992 constitution is clear in its tenets of pitching the prerogative writ only against judicial or quasi-judicial bodies. It must also be noted that order 55 of CI 47 only states the procedure by which one can come to court.

“Therefore, when one’s grievances do not fall under article 12, same cannot be cured by order 55 of CI 47,” she read.

She added, “the laws of Ghana give special attention to administrative decisions especially regarding public institutions and it is for this reason that order 55 of CI 47 makes provision for the use of administrative orders such as certiorari, mandamus, quo-warranto, habeas corpus, Prohibition and injunction.”

The University’s legal team prayed the court to award a cost of GH?30,000 against the applicant but the court rather awarded GH?5,000 against the applicant.

Counsel for the applicant, Alex Afenyo Markin, was not in court.