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Opinions of Sunday, 7 April 2019

Columnist: Dawda Eric

Reinstatement of three UEW dismissed lecturers not enough

On the 3rd April,2019, UEW under the leadership of Prof.Anthony Afful Broni issued a press release announcing the shameful decision to reinstate three unlawfully dismissed lecturers contrary to the consensus reached by parties who intervened to restore normalcy on the campuses of UEW following a mass protest by students.

Even before this new release came, the Prof.Anthony Afful Broni led group had already justified their reasons for dismissing those lecturers on account of miserable and laughable claims that have still not been able to suffice on the face of critical logic and common sense. I am convinced in my mind that, the Prof.Anthony Afful has failed and must be told in clear terms without any fear of contradiction.

I truly agree with Dr Duku Kaakyire who opined that his reinstatement would be meaningless until and unless his colleagues who suffered same capricious dismissal are brought back which was the initial agreement reached by stakeholders who met to resolve the impasse that threw the university "out of gear".

Prof. Anthony Afful Broni who decided to allow his personal interest override the interest of the university in respect of the recent sham promotion letter he signed didn't take the outcome of that negotiation serious at all. A negotiation which was aimed at bringing back all the dismissed lecturers including setting aside UEW Governing Council decision which saw the demotion of some staff as well as the compensation of certain individuals who became casualties in the heat of event(s).

That important negotiation has been thrown to the dogs all of sudden which is an attempt to betray the minister of Education, Hon. Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh and the member of parliament for Effutu, Hon.Alexander Kwamena Afenyo who came to rescue the institution from the violent destruction of properties by aggrieved students.

The approach adopted by Prof. Anthony is not the best in conflict resolution. The arrogance of power is evidenced in this selective reinstatement of only three lecturers instead of more. Prof.Anthony Afful Broni must be told that UEW is not his maternal inheritance neither is it his bona-fide and should restrain him from certain things that are inimical and injurious to the University.

Out of bad faith, the release failed to capture the single effort of MP for Effutu Constituency who together with his colleague MP for Assin Central abandoned their parliamentary work to speak to students which eventually calmed them with the assurance of getting the dismissed lecturers reinstated for effective academic work to continue.

Some of us have watched from afar the obnoxious conduct of Prof.Anthony Afful Broni who has become one serious enemy holding back the progress of the institution just to satisfy his greediness.

UEW has decided not to respect Act,2004(Act 672) which created its existence. Let it also be known that, to give the institution a chancellor as spelt out in explicit terms pursuant to section 12(1) of Act,672 has been in continuous breach under Prof. Anthony Afful Broni and his group.

Isn't it quite curious that Institution like UEW that seeks to ensure the adherence of every available law that regulates the conduct of senior members( lecturers) inadvertently decided not to respect the very Act that gave birth to the school?

The strenuous attempt by Prof.Anthony Afful Broni and his group to betray the resolution reached by stakeholders which directed him and his group to reinstate other lecturers who were previously sacked to satisfy Prof.Anthony Afful Broni's vindictiveness is very appalling and repugnant and ought to be rejected by discerning Ghanaians for peace to prevail in UEW.

Prof.Anthony Afful Broni and his group claimed that, they had every legitimate reason to press the panic button which saw the dismissal of the three lecturers. According to them, it was right in the face of law meanwhile,their latest press release announcing their reinstatement to the general public admitted a review of their previous decision.

The question is, Who goes to do a review of a previous decision when there isn't any fundamental error in that same decision? Simple Common sense should have reminded Prof. Anthony Afful Broni and his group that, a forum for review of a past decision becomes a necessity when a fundamental error in that decision is established by any of the parties affected by the said decision and that must be by an application.

Instead of them to publicly admit that, they erred in dismissing those lecturers, and because of that an external force had to direct them to do the needful, they decided to expose their weakness in thinking as members of the academia with an apology of a press release.

Since Prof.Anthony Afful Broni and his group purported review decision arrogated to themselves, the powers of a reviewing court of jurisdiction, let me use this opportunity to school them on the essential element of review by decided cases of the supreme court of Ghana. Notable in the long line of relevant cases are Mechanical Lloyd Assembly Plant v Nartey [1987-88] 2 GLR 598; Bisi and Others v Kwayie [1987-88] 2 GLR 295; Nasali v Addy [1987-88] 2GLR 286; Ababio v Mensah (No.2) [1989-90] 1 GLR 573; Quartey v Central Services Co. Ltd. [1996 – 97] SCGLR 398; Pianim (No. 3) v Ekwam [1996-97] SCGLR 431; Koglex (Gh) Ltd. v Attieh [2001-2002] SCGLR 947; and Attorney-General (No. 2) v Tsatsu Tsikata (No.2) [2001-2002] SCGLR 620.

In the above cases,it was noted that,for the court to be satisfied with an application for review, the party in whose behalf the said application is mounted should be able to identify exceptional circumstances that,a fundamental or basic error has been committed by the court.

Assuming without admitting that,a provision of the statute of UEW confers Anthony Afful Broni and his group the powers above an appellate court to review its own decison, Why did the press release fail to tell us that,their decision to review their previous decision was as a result of a review application by the aggrieved parties.?

I am surprised that,the UEW registrar who i am told is a lawyer is not advising the Governing Council concerning some of these things. Prof.Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah and his group should reinstate the other lecturers before some of us are forced to activate the necessary processes to get them out of UEW.


Dawda Eric(Equity)
UEW Alumnus