By William Sarpong
The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Prof. Mawutor Avoke has poured venom on his successor Prof. Afful-Broni, describing him as a usurper and the brain behind his removal from office. Prof. Avoke, who has been silent for the past two years after his removal as vice chancellor, took his story to town this week.
“Ingratitude they say, is more poisonous than a snake’s fang. It is now clear who in the cloak or dead of the night was meeting the member of parliament of the Efutu Constituency and sharing fabricated materials and official documents of the University, and misrepresenting same to him, as recently claimed by the MP himself on various media platforms,” he stated in obvious reference to schemings involving Afenyo Markins, MP for Effutu.
The former vice chancellor maintained at a press briefing that he was wrongfully dismissed alongside the finance officer Dr. Theophilus Senyo Akorlie and four other senior officers in August, 2018, despite a pending application before a Cape Coast High Court, since February, 2018, seeking to quash the order from the Governing Council of UEW for him and the other officers to step aside.
“I have all this while restrained myself, painfully though, and refrained from making any comments on the matter to media and the public, except on a couple of occasions. This is because I believed that my colleagues and I were going to get justice through the due process we had filed in the courts of law of this country”.
He said the recent happenings at UEW, have roots in the matter that began about two years ago, and the fact that the current management and Council of the University have so manipulated the court system through unorthodox practices to get the application not to be heard.
Prof. Mawutor explained that the UEW saga started in March, 2017, when the MP for Efutu, Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markin was hoodwinked to petition the Minister for Education on the allegation that the Council that appointed him and other officers, including the then Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Afful-Broni, into office was defunct and thus illegal and also that certain contracts in the university have been awarded without due process.
“We were therefore invited to respond to those allegations, and we indeed did officially respond to each and every one of the allegations. We did for instance state in our response that the said Governing Council could not be deemed to be defunct, as the President of the Republic at the time had caused a letter to be issued given a fresh mandate to all such Councils and Boards whose term of office came to an end by virtue of subsection 1 of Section 14 of the Presidential Transition Act (Act 845) to continue to operate and perform the functions of a properly constituted Council until such a time that a new Council would be put in place, as provided in subsection 2”.
The former Vice Chancellor said they again denied that the Governing Council as at November, 2016 was defunct, because it’s term of office had expired, since that Council was a new one sworn into office on 26th June, 2016 for another two-year mandate.
“We also denied the allegation that certain contracts had been awarded without due processes and thus breaching the Procurement Act. We in fact provided all the documentations that proved that we indeed followed all the procurement processes and actually sought for and got the concurrent approvals for those contracts from the Central Tender Review Board after the Procurement Authority had approved the procurement methods”.
According to Prof Avoke they were surprised when the university was served with an application filed on 23rd May, 2017 at the Winneba High Court by one Supi Kofi Kwayera of Winneba, praying it to among other things declare that: the extension of the mandate of the Governing Council of UEW by the Ministry of Education to stay in office to perform such functions as properly appointed Council was in breach of section 8 of the UEW Act (Act 672).
“In an accompanying affidavit, sworn to by the plaintiff, he claimed that the Council of UEW, between November, 2013 and November, 2016, was illegal since its term had expired in November, 2013. All appointments made by the defunct Council are null and void and of no legal effect. All decisions taken by the impugned Council are null and void and of no effect. Contracts that were awarded to Paabadu & Sons, C-Deck Limited and Sparkx SM were done in breach of the Procurement Act (Act 663) and same are null and void”.
The university he continued, through its lawyers, filed a preliminary objection at the High Court on 6th June, 2017; praying the Court to dismiss Supi Kofi Kwayera’s application on the grounds that the High Court was not the appropriate forum and thus lacks the jurisdiction to hear the case due to its nature.
The Judge who heard the case, he mentioned, however ruled on the preliminary application and dismissed the case on the grounds that the High Court has jurisdiction over the case. Prof. Avoke and his dismissed colleagues were of the view that they were going to win on appeal and also be eventually vindicated by the truth at the end of proceedings, but little did they know that they were still going to be at home till date, when all the allegations made against them have been proven to be untrue especially by Economic and Organised Crimes Office.
Prof Avoke was emphatic that they will continue to pursue for justice to be done in their case.