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General News of Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

Court restrains NAB, Pentecost University from withdrawing students

An Accra Fast Track High Court, on Thursday, December 20, 2012, restrained the Pentecost University and the National Accreditation Board from withdrawing some 10 students from the Pentecost University College, Sowutuom.

The Court, presided over by Justice Paul Dery, also gave further orders that until the final determination of the matter, special classes should be organized for the affected students to enable them catch up on the just-concluded first Semester. Also joined in the suit were the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Education.

Gary Nimako Marfo and Papa Kow Acquaye represented the Students, with J.H. Nii Larkai representing the University whilst Nancy Twumasi-Mensah, holding the brief of Grace Ewool, Senior State Attorney, represented the A-G, NAB and the Ministry of Education.

Moving the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction, Mr. Nimako Marfo of Puozuing and Associates, Lead Counsel for the Applicants, said relying on the School’s brochure and subsequent publications, the affected students applied for and duly gained admission to the Pentecost University for the 2011/2012 academic year.

After paying the tuition fees, being issued with ID Cards and going through a Ceremony of Matriculation, the University wrote them letters withdrawing them, after a year of Study in various Courses.

According to Mr. Marfo, the action of the university was in response to claims by the National Accreditation Board that there were ‘defects’ in the entry grades of the affected students and a threat by NAB that it would withdraw its recognition of the University as a duly-accredited institution if the students were not withdrawn.

Continuing, Mr Marfo said the university did not indicate the nature of the said defects, did not give the students any notice or invite any of them to hear their side as required by the rule of Natural Justice.

He said the University College, which is affiliated to the University of Ghana, Legon, refused to listen to the students despite the fact that they, at all material times, acted in good faith and in reliance on the university’s representations to them.

He, therefore, prayed the Court to restrain the Respondents from abruptly and illegally terminating his clients’ accrued rights and grant consequential reliefs to ensure that their Constitutional right to Education was not unduly curtailed.

Responding, Mr. JH Nii Larkai, Counsel for the First Respondent, did not directly oppose the application but sought clarity from opposite Counsel on the full effect of the Motion. Papa Kow Acquaye, Co-Counsel for the Applicants, pointed out that the Respondents’ Affidavit in Opposition admitted almost all the averments of the Student-Applicants and therefore, being a Prayer, any consequential reliefs from the Court would give proper effect to the Motion.

The Presiding Judge of the Human Rights Fast Track Court, Justice Paul Dery, therefore granted the Applicants Prayer, ordering the Respondents to re-instate the Students and organize extra classes for them so as to enable them write their First Semester Exam, which they were unable to do due to the Withdrawal Letters.

Hearing and subsequent closing arguments in the substantive are scheduled to come off when the courts return from the Christmas break.

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