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botchway May 8, 2018

By Emmanuel Akli

Amnesty International (AI), an international human rights organisation, is being accused of engaging in a proxy war in Ghana, thereby, tarnishing the image of the country, and the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), in particular.

The Council of the University of Education, Winneba, is said to have followed due process to dismiss one of its lecturers, Dr. Ofori Bekoe.

The lecturer, who is dissatisfied with the conduct of the University Council, has proceeded to court to challenge the action.

Even though the case is still pending before the court, Amnesty International has intervened and holding media engagements accusing the university of trampling upon the fundamental human rights of the lecturer.

Mr Samuel Agbotsey, who describes himself as Campaign and Fundraising Coordinator of Amnesty International Ghana, has, for instance, told a section of the media that two lecturers of the university, including Dr. Ofori Bekoe, have been forcibly evicted from their official residences.
“The lecturer, who was the local chapter President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana, Agbotsey said, was asked to vacate his official bungalow, and the university authorities ensured that he was evicted from the bungalow by force, at a time it was raining,” the media quoted Mr Samuel Agbotsey as saying.

A source at the university, which spoke to The Chronicle, said though it was true that Dr. Ofori Bekoe had been dismissed from the university and his apartment, due process was followed, and that there was nothing like fundamental human rights abuse, as is being espoused by the AI, Ghana.

According to the source, Dr. Ofori Bekoe, who was a member of the University Council, misconducted himself at one of their meetings.

He was asked to apologise, but he allegedly refused. The development compelled the Council to refer him to the Disciplinary Committee.

Though the Committee allegedly wrote to him severally to appear before it, he turned down the request.

The Committee, therefore, proceeded to recommend his dismissal to the University Council, which the latter also accepted and implemented same.

Dissatisfied, Dr Bekoe is, however, challenging the decision of the council to dismiss him in court, a case which is still pending.

The UEW has not known peace ever since the former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mawutor Avoke, lost his position after a series of court actions.

The then Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Mawutor Avoke, and five other top officials were, on October 31, 2017, asked to step aside as investigations into alleged malfeasance at the university continued.

There was a hullaballoo about the action of the university to suspend the top officials, when the case about their alleged malfeasance was still pending before the courts.

This forced the Chairman of the University Council, Prof. Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah, to issue a statement explaining that: “The stepping aside is without prejudice to the outcome of the issues at the courts.

“We urge the general public to crosscheck their facts before making pronouncements on the decision taken by the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba,” the statement added.

The source, which spoke to this reporter, alleged that the UEW’s current problem could be linked to a transformation agenda being implemented by the current Vice Chancellor, Prof Afful-Broni.

“UEW has successfully cut down on sleaze and waste since our take over. Our fuel consumption cost had come down from GH¢76,000 to an average of GH¢31,000 every two weeks. Broken down infrastructure at halls of residence, classrooms, libraries and other theatres and facilities have been mostly fixed. Toilets, sinks, switches, sockets, fluorescent tubes, ceiling fans and air conditioners have been repaired or replaced.
“Over 300 street lights have, within the last few months, been installed at the three campuses at Winneba alone, while similar exercises are on-going at our Ajumako, Kumasi and Mampong campuses,
“A large number of staff have had their Ppromotions granted. We have witnessed the largest increase in the number of senior lecturers, professors, deputy registrars and senior assistant registrars. We have graduated the largest number of postgraduates, including dozens of PhDs,” the source claimed.

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