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General News of Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Appeals Court orders reinstatement of dismissed UEW lecturer

Front view of the University of Education, Winneba Front view of the University of Education, Winneba

The Court of Appeal in Cape Coast has quashed the decision by the University of Education, Winneba that led to the dismissal of Dr Samuel Ofori Bekoe, a former lecturer of the University.

The court avers that the University erred when it “hastily” dismissed Dr Bekoe who was at the time a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Studies.

The three-member bench presided over by Mrs. Irene C. Larbi after carefully analysing the evidence adduced before the court by the appellate granted the reliefs being sought.

The court in its ruling ruled that the entire disciplinary proceeding culminating in the dismissal of Dr. Bekoe is “null, liable, and be set aside ex debito justitiae”.

The court upheld that “on the strength of above authority, we hold that save for the dismissal of the claim for an order of prohibition as being wholly bereft of any substance and merit, the appeal is hereby allowed.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Samuel Ofori Bekoe has confirmed to Ghanaweb that his lawyers have officially written to management of the university conveying the decision of the court to them.

“The court has spoken and my lawyers have conveyed same to the university. We did that on Monday and they have five working days to respond so we are waiting for an official response to determine our next line of action”.

Background

The Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba, in March 2018 sacked Dr. Samuel Ofori Bekoe.

The decision was taken by the university’s council, the highest decision-making body of the institution at a meeting held on March 28, 2018.

The Council, chaired by Professor Emmanuel Nicholas Abaka took the decision based on the findings and recommendations of a five-member committee established to look into allegations of a death threat and gross misconduct against Dr Bekoe.

Dr. Bekoe is alleged to have threatened to attack members of the University council with knives and cutlasses after a disagreement ensued at a meeting on February 22, 2018, an allegation he flatly denies.

According to him, he only asked the council to follow due process by ensuring that the right thing was done but his wise counsel was ignored.

“My attention has been drawn to a write up circulating on social media platforms accusing me of throwing tantrums at the UEW Governing Council meeting that was held on the 22nd of February, 2018 and ending up by threatening to attack some members of the Council, including the Oman Odeefe of the Efutu Traditional Area, Neenyi Ghartey, with a machete.

“The only disagreement that involved me at the said meeting was between the Chairman and I, and it was when he, in total disregard of provisions in the Statutes of UEW, started reading an obviously prepared statement and purported it to be Council decisions indicating the appointment of the Pro VC, whose term of office expires on the 28th of February, 2018, to act as VC until the substantive VC is called back. And also the fact that Council was establishing a disciplinary committee to deal with the recommendations of the fact-finding committee.

“In the above instance, my response was to draw the Council Chairman’s attention to the inappropriateness of his actions and the fact that those decisions were contrary to the Statutes of UEW, which we have all sworn to protect...”

But Dr. Bekoe aggrieved by the decision of the Governing Council filed an application for Judicial Review at the Cape Coast High Court pursuant to Order 55 of the High Court Rules praying for an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the University but the case was dismissed forcing him to lodge an instant appeal.

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