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Opinions of Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Columnist: Alhassan Salifu Bawah

The UEW upcoming 'Showbiz Showdown' with Martin Amidu

On Monday August 27th 2018, some dismissed officials of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), issued a mockery of a Press Statement, in their ill-conceived and misguided attempt to throw dust into the eyes of the public. The UEW governing council, need not waste its valuable time and resources to respond to the trash from the dismissed officials.

In that elementary Press Release by the dismissed officials, NOT a single Article from the 1992 Constitution, or a Section from a relevant Act of Parliament or Decree, is cited by these so-called Professors and PhD holders, to buttress their lame arguments.

I am a 'nobody', but here we go!

Article 1 (2) of the 1992 Constitution states: “This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void".

As a result of the above provision, every person within the jurisdiction of Ghana must abide by the 1992 Constitution and all other relevant laws which are consistent with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution (this is without exception; be it the President of the Republic, or the peasant farmer in Mamprugu-Moagduri).

Therefore, the purported (to borrow the words of the dismissed officials) letter by Ex-President John Mahama, directing the then defunct governing council of UEW to continue in office after its term had expired in November 2013, was unconstitutional, in the eyes of the 1992 Constitution, on whose back, Mahama rose from an Assemblyman to President!!

If others were to subvert the 1992 Constitution, like the way John Mahama short-sightedly did, on which document's back, was Mahama going to ride to power?

Per the provisions of Article 1 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, Ex-President Mahama acted unconstitutionally, by purporting to extend the mandate of the UEW defunct governing council, and the Winneba High Court, rightly pronounced same.

This fact is acknowledged by the tramp, Victor K. Owusu Avea in one of his articles about UEW, where he states: "... please be informed that even the President of the Republic operates within the confines of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana". For once, I agree with the ‘vampire bat’!!

By the way, those having problems with the appointment of Rev. Fr. Prof. Afful-Broni, by the UEW governing council as the Ag. VC, are at liberty to go to court and assert their common sense argument of most senior Dean, and we will 'smite' their weather-beaten faces with section 10 of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) Act 2004, Act 672.

Section 14 (1) of the Presidential (Transition) Act 2012, Act 845, as amended, stipulates: “On the assumption of office of the person elected as President, a person holding any of the offices specified in the Schedule shall cease to hold that office....." In the said Schedule, subsection 6 states: "Persons appointed by the President or a Minister of State as members of Statutory Boards and Corporations". The UEW governing council is a Statutory Board.

Therefore, in effect, the mandate of the UEW governing council, appointed by the late President Mills, came to an end on 7th January 2013, when John Mahama was sworn in as President. The illegality of the UEW governing council, therefore, dates back to 7th January, 2013.

Having established above that NO President under the Fourth Republican Constitution (the 1992 Constitution), has the power to single-handedly subvert constitutional provisions, the focus now turns to the blatant Procurement violations, perpetrated by the dismissed officials.

In a Tender Evaluation undertaken by the Consultants, Procurement and Project Management Consultancy (PPMC), regarding the Construction of Lectures' Office Complex at Winneba, the Consultants recommended re-tender of the said contract, since in the Consultants' view, "none of the bidders has been determined as qualified and capable of performing the contract". See attached; Sparkx 4 & 6

This is plain English, and therefore, need no further clarifications. Why this particular contract and several others were NEVER re-tendered, but awarded to the dismissed officials cronies and friends companies (Sparkx Gh Ltd, Proteus Ltd, etc.), bothers on criminal wrongdoing, as specified under section 92 (2) (b) and (c) of the Public Procurement Act 2003, Act 663, as amended. The penalty for this is a fine not exceeding a prescribed amount, or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, or to both.

Reasonable members of society were not surprised in the Press Release of the dismissed officials when they mischievously failed to cite the legal basis for the award of the above contracts and several others.

Without mincing words, there is no ‘common sense’ answer in law, therefore, the dismissed officials application of ‘common sense’ in their blind attempt to exonerate themselves, is hogwash.

The families and friends of the dismissed officials of UEW may still have; maybe, just that minutest of hope, that the dismissed officials derived authority from a law, that at the moment is known only to them and their 'common sense approach lawyer', in the award of all the contentious contracts.

If other investigative bodies and upholders of justice can be 'bought' with looted state funds, the Honourable Martin Amidu is also patiently waiting for his 'share' of the loot from UEW!