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Opinions of Thursday, 11 January 2018

Columnist: Alhassan Salifu Bawah

RE: Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Council Chairman destroying lecturers' pension at UEW

Does Prof. Avoke, hereinafter referred rightly to as interdicted VC, honestly believe that by sponsoring scare-mongering, smear campaign and creating fear and panic publications, he would return to office as the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW)?

If the interdicted VC was a Professor in the real sense, and a patriotic citizen of this country, he would have either stayed silent and deployed a competent legal team to fight his cause or stay silent, but this time, using only respectable people in society in positions of influence, behind the scenes, to plead with the appropriate authorities to temper justice with mercy.

The short answer to the above 'Prof. Avoke'/Ackorlie/Bekoe, etc sponsored article is that they should go to court and seek an order restraining the Council Chairman and Ag. VC from further interference in the management of the UEW Chapter of the Ghana Universities Staff Superannuation Scheme (GUSSS), if any interference exists in the first place, instead of behaving like brawling street yobs and huffing and puffing around like emotionally disturbed bunch that they really are.

The long answer to the interdicted VC and his rag-tags, is that the award of those contentious contracts was void abnitio, that is, illegal from the on-set, so nothing can change the illegality status of those contracts, therefore, works on the said contracts, remain suspended.

Some brief facts on one of these suspended GUSSS projects, would do at this juncture.

Following the advert for the Construction of the GUSSS Hostel Block - Kumasi Site, 5 bids were received from Santa Baron Ventures Ltd, Ghc 49,809,595.07; Berock Ventures Ltd, Ghc 55,523,963.85; Nickseth Construction Co. Ltd, Ghc 51,959,139.31; Antarctic Contract Works Ltd, Ghc 44,928,829.33; and Proteus Ltd, Ghc 84,887,278.38.

This is where it gets interesting. All five (5) tenderers, were disqualified for failing to meet some or all of the requirements as stipulated in the tender documents.

Antarctic Contract Works Ltd and Proteus Ltd did not even make it to the Evaluation stage, because of a failure to meet some fundamental requirements.

Interestingly, the eventual 'winner' of this contract, was Proteus Ltd, which was not even evaluated, with the highest read-out tender price of Ghc 84,887,278.38. Magically, this over Ghc 84m read-out tender price of Proteus Ltd, which was not considered for Evaluation, was awarded the contract in question, based solely on the conjured 'Prof. Avoke'/Ackorlie read-out tender price of Ghc 45,719,523.56.

The answers required from the interdicted VC and Ackorlie are: Based on what relevant laws of this country, was the read-out Tender Price of Proteus Ltd, drastically reduced from over Ghc 84m, to just over Ghc 45m?

Secondly, even though awarding the said contract to Antarctic Contract Works Ltd, would have been illegal because it was also not evaluated, and subsequently disqualified, Antarctic Ltd, had the lowest read-out Tender Price of Ghc 44,928,829.33. Why was this contract not awarded to Antarctic Contract Works Ltd?

Over to you 'Prof. Avoke'/Ackorlie/Bekoe/Nsoh/Jinapor/Quarshie/Dusu Jnr/Kaakyire/Adhzalie/Agbevivi/Ziga, etc.

Was it the Council Chairman or the Ag. VC who asked the interdicted VC and his hired 'assassins' to illegally award this contract to Proteus Ltd? Face the facts, NOT baseless and unsubstantiated, dreamed up and cooked stories.

The interdicted VC and his blind followers, owe a duty to discerning Ghanaians to explain why in a previous article released by Prof. Victor K. Owusu on 3rd November 2017 and titled, "Kennedy Agyepong's Useless Rantings on UEW Impasse", and published on modernghana, (https://www.modernghana.com/news/814287/kennedy-agyapongs-useless-ranting-on-uew-impasse.html), Prof. Victor K. Owusu, one of ghost names deployed by the interdicted VC to do his dirty bidding, stated emphatically: "Let it be known to him (Kennedy Agyepong) that if it is the GUSSS projects he is targeting then he is in for a long haul. This is a private voluntary pension scheme of its own board. It has nothing to do with the public and any attempt to play with it will lead to massive withdrawal and thus total collapse of the scheme". Emphasis mine.

In the article that has warranted this rejoinder and authored by the same faceless psychopaths of the interdicted VC (this sounds cool as compared to an Associate Professor or Pro-VC), Eric Appiah among several others, stated: "Now this pension scheme is under serious threat and eminent danger. Government needs to act quickly". The government that was advised by the same interdicted VC’s foot soldiers to stay off the GUSSS, is now being asked by Bekoe "to act quickly" to save the GUSSS.

Reasonable Ghanaians require some clarification from the interdicted VC with regards to this change in his camp's position towards the GUSSS. For example, the law that has recently been enacted, amended, or repealed, between 3rd November 2017 and 9th January 2018, that probably served as the basis for this shift in their GUSSS policy stand, that is, the latest call on the government to save the GUSSS.

This is what will make the interdicted VC regain some credibility in the eyes of most Ghanaians.

Addressing the Council Chairman as 'Associate Professor' or the Ag. VC as Pro-VC, has no impact at all whatsoever in their capacities to perform their legal duties. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge the legal authority of the Council Chairman and the Ag. VC, can see Dr. Atintono for counselling.

The interdicted VC and his sidekicks continue to cry foul that they did no wrong, even in the face of these damning revelations being churned out by the son of the upright peasant farmer. If so, why the recent contact with Lord Commey, Director of Operations at the seat of government, imploring him to plead with the Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markin, to spare them the ordeal of going to jail?

It is provided under section 22 (3), of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) as amended: “Any requirement established pursuant to this section stated in the tender documents or other documents for invitation of proposals shall apply equally to the tenderers".

It was a requirement of the tender documents that all tenderers (equal application of the law) should submit financial statements for the past three (3) years and proof of line of credit among several other requirements. Proteus Ltd failed to submit financial statements for the last three (3) years, and also failed to submit proof of line of credit, and yet was awarded the contract for the Construction of the GUSSS Hostel Block - Kumasi Site.

Section 22 (4) of Act 663 as amended, goes further to provide that: "The procurement entity shall evaluate the qualifications of candidates in accordance with the criteria and procedures stated in the documents referred to in subsection (3)".

The documents here refer to the tender documents, and the procedure refers to doing due diligence on receipt of tenders, by scrutinising the documents submitted by tenderers to ensure compliance with advertised requirements and going further to consider the price quotations to ensure value for money.

Section 22 (3) and (4) of Act 663 as amended, were clearly breached by the interdicted VC and Ackorlie in the award of the said contract. Probably their decision was based on an unknown Procurement Law in Ghana, therefore, to stop the son of upright peasant farmer from making further noise that the interdicted VC and his battalion of nation looters circumvented Act 663 as amended in the award of several contracts, they only have to quote that law, and rest their case. Is this too demanding for a so-called 'Fool Professor' with an 'impeccable' record?

To wind up, I implore the interdicted VC and his doomed course, to look in my Accra residence for the documents (Consultant's Reports) that they vainly sought to steal from my office at the south campus.

The stand fan, microwave oven and the footwear that were taken away have no effect on me.

As at 5pm on Wednesday January 10th 2018, five (5) different friends had already promised to replace the stolen items with brand new products. The interdicted VC and his bunch of selfish individuals should write useless articles urging the friends not to replace those items for me. The stealing of a radio set and an extension board in another colleague's office to disguise the theft as random and not a targeted one aimed at only me, can only be bought by the interdicted VC and his defeated lieutenants.

I am not stupid like the interdicted VC and his gang, to keep such documents in the office.

The course some of us are defending cannot be derailed by thefts, threats, injury or death. There are several extremists in the wings, so eliminating the son of the upright peasant farmer, would NOT put an end to cleansing of the rot at UEW. Suffice is to say that the death of Osama Bin Laden hasn't ended terrorism in the world.

The agenda of the interdicted VC to flood the media of his lack of legal arguments articles, and therefore, bog me down in terms of responding, is short-sighted.

It is NOT flooding the media with smear campaign articles that will free the interdicted VC from the mess he has roped himself in. Sound and solid legal arguments is the remedy.

I can give one short and clever answer to all the mad rantings of the interdicted VC sponsored smear campaign articles, that is, "go to court", to borrow the words of Dr. Afari Djan.