By Raymond Quarchie
Dismissed Vice Chancellor and five principal officers of the University of Education-Winneba have said that no court has found them guilty of any procurement or financial malfeasance.
According to the officers, they have tried very hard not to publicly comment or say anything about the subject in spite of the huge demand from families, relatives, colleagues and friends to do so.
In a press release, issued by the five, they stated that they have lots of respect for courts handling the issue and would continue to do so, adding that they have remained silent for two main reasons.
The officers mentioned that a press release, published on pages 88, 89 & 90 of Wednesday, 20th December, 2017 Edition of the Daily Graphic, extensively explained all the issues and established very clearly that they followed every single step and procedure required by the Laws/ Rules/ Regulations of Ghana and the University of Education, Winneba in the award of all procurement contracts that we signed.
They said “As individuals, we have not been taken to any court and no charges have been brought against us. We have also not appeared before any court or been heard by any court on any charges. It is not true that the Vice Chancellor, Professor Mawutor Avoke and the Finance Officer, Dr. Theophilus Senyo Ackorlie were found guilty of procurement or financial malfeasance by any court.
Professor Mawutor Avoke hinted that the University has since February 2018 caused adjournments of the case using various strategies, including avoiding services, submission of medical reports to excuse their lawyers from attending to court and other counter applications adding that the University had as at the last court sitting, not filed a defense to their (the five officers) application for judicial review
They said that at the last hearing on the 14th and 15th of August, 2018, the cases were adjourned to the 17th and 22nd October, 2018 respectively.
The five stated that they were very surprised that in spite of the pendency of the suits at both the Supreme Court and the High Court in Cape Coast, the University Council still went ahead and dismissed them using the very same procedures and citing the very same reasons which were pending in the courts.
The officers maintained that they have not breach any laws or regulations in Ghana or in the University, stressing that they demonstrated it very clearly and explicitly in a publication of 20th December, 2017 in the Daily Graphic, pages 88, 89 and 90.
They said “We informed the Disciplinary Board through our Lawyers, Atuguba & Associates, that we were unable to honour their invitation at that time because there were pending suits at the High Court in Cape Coast concerning the very thing they were seeking to invite us to participate in.
“If it is true that we occasioned breaches and irregularities in the award of contracts, why were these contracts not terminated by the Council and Management after they assume office for more than one year”? They quizzed.
They however, assured their families, relatives, colleagues and friends that they are innocent of all the allegations against us and will wait for the verdict of the courts adding that they completely disagree with the purported dismissal as was communicated to them and reported by the media.
The governing council of the University of Education, Winneba, had dismissed five principal officers of the institution following an emergency meeting.One other official had her appointment terminated.
The five are the Vice-Chancellor who was serving a suspension, Professor Mawutor Avoke, Finance Officer, Dr Theophilus Senyo Ackorlie, Daniel Tetteh, Mary Dzimey and Frank Owusu Boateng.
They were interdicted in July 2017 by the UEW governing council to allow for investigations after it emerged that some vital documents at some offices at the centre of an ongoing investigation had gone missing.
Subsequently, in January 2018, lawyers of the five wrote to the University Council, demanding their immediate reinstatement.