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FULL SCRIPT: Governing C’cil’s reaction to UEW saga

PRESS RELEASE BY GOVERNING COUNCIL OF UNIVERSITY OF
EDUCATION, WINNEBA CONCERNING RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
ON MAIN CAMPUS, WINNEBA

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media, Good afternoon and welcome to this
Press Conference.
1. We the members of the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba
under the chairmanship of Prof. E.N. Abakah, seek to use this forum to set the records
straight in matters that have affected the university over the last few days and to
indicate to you members of the media, UEW stakeholders and Ghanaian public on our
assessment of events after the closure and the way forward.

We wish to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Honourable Minister for
Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh for his reconciliation initiative that was
geared toward ensuring peace on campus. We also wish to express our thanks to the
Minister for Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah for his intervention and showing
concern by coming to Winneba to interact with Council on the emerging crisis. We are
further grateful to the Regional Minster, Hon. Kwamena Duncan, supported by the
Regional Police Commander, DCOP Paul Awini and the Regional Security Council for
their intervention that helped to contain the violence from escalating, preventing
further damages to lives and properties. We also thank the Office of National Security
and all the Policemen and women who have so far helped to ensure peace on our
Campuses.

2. In the past one week, the University of Education, Winneba has taken the headlines
in the media for all the negative reasons. Just when the University had achieved some
relative peace after the 2017/18 crisis and had initiated progress, including ensuring
that discipline, law and order take centre stage in the administration of the University;
providing conducive environment for students to go through their academic life; and
ensuring that discipline is maintained in all aspects of academic life, another crisis
orchestrated by external individuals and some disgruntled forces have taken the
University back leading us to where we find ourselves now. The Governing Council is
saddened by the turn of events, especially, the wanton destruction of properties of staff
and the University that have led to its eventual closure.

3. The Governing Council notes that several different versions of events that led to the
dismissal, termination, demotion or suspension of some staff and which have,
maliciously, been misrepresented in the media. The misinformation and
misrepresentation have also been used as the rationale for the violent attacks on lives
and properties in the University. Secondly, Council notes the attempt by several
2 individuals and bodies including UTAG to question its authority and stampede it into
taking decisions that will undermine discipline on our Campuses.

4. The Governing Council has assessed the damage caused during the escalation of
violence on the fourth day of the unrest and has taken note of all the issues and
concerns raised by all stakeholders during and after the period of the unrest. Also the
Governing Council has also taken note of several issues of misinformation and,
sometimes, outright lies that have taken the airwaves regarding the University. We
have, therefore, called this Press Conference to clear the airwaves and set the records
straight on some of the major issues raised by certain individuals and groups in several
media outlets and on social media.

5. Council noted three major areas of misinformation that took centre stage on social
media and other airwaves. They include:

i. Council’s Disciplinary Decisions on Staff
ii. UTAG National’s Position on Council’s Disciplinary Decisions
iii. The call on the Vice-Chancellor to resign
In all this, we wish to assure the nation that the University of Education, Winneba and
its Governing Council is committed to peace, stability, and the maintenance of law and
order.
Council’s Disciplinary Decisions on the Three Senior Members
According to the UEW Statutes 36, Schedule G: The following shall be referred to as the Disciplinary Rules and, except as otherwise provided, shall apply to all staff of the University.

i. Any act done without reasonable excuse by a person to whom these rules apply
which amounts to a failure to perform in a proper manner any duty imposed on him as
such, or which contravenes any regulations, instructions or directives relating to
employees of the University or which is otherwise prejudicial to the efficient
functioning of the University or tends to bring the University into disrepute shall
constitute a misconduct.

ii. It is misconduct for an employee of the University to:
a. absent himself from duty without leave or reasonable excuse
b. be insubordinate
c. use, without the consent of the appropriate authority, any property or facility of the
University for purposes not connected with the work of the University and/or not
3 within his scope of responsibilities
d. engage in any activity which is likely to bring the University into disrepute
e. engage in any gainful employment outside the University without the consent of the
Vice-Chancellor.
6. Any staff who have been dismissed, suspended, or demoted or have had their
appointments terminated were taken through the due processes of the law as
established under Statute 36 and in accordance with Schedule G. Indeed, UTAG
National through their President Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah in response to the dismissals
or termination of appointments of the affected persons had maintained on several
platforms that the affected persons had been dismissed based on some trumped-up
charges and that the University failed to take them through due process. This position
has also been trumpeted consistently by the dismissed staff amplifying the position to
some level of believability in the media. UTAG also went ahead and indicated that Dr.
Frimpong Duku was dismissed because he had prevailed in a UTAG Appeal Court case
against the University and the dismissal was a hurriedly orchestrated one, done
through an Emergency Council meeting to ensure that Dr. Duku would never be able to
take back his UTAG Presidency because the Vice-Chancellor knows what Dr. Duku was
capable of doing. These assertions are full of inaccuracies, outright lies and fabrications
meant to disparage the Governing Council and create chaos and cause indiscipline on
our campuses-a goal that UTAG has clearly worked hard to achieve in the last few
days.
The following are the facts surrounding the disciplinary measures against the affected
staff.

Dr. Frimpong Duku
7. The timeline of the disciplinary action against Dr. Duku commenced on July 23rd,
2018 and ended with the submission of the Disciplinary Board’s letter to the Ag. ViceChancellor on 28th August 2018. Duku was handed the letter inviting him to meet an
Investigative Body on July 20th, 2018. The Disciplinary process is in two parts. Under
the first part, the affected individual is summoned before an Investigative Body; and
under the second part, the person is summoned before a Disciplinary Board if the
investigative body so recommends. The timeline clearly indicates that the disciplinary
action against Dr. Duku, relative to the 2-part process, commenced and ended about 5
months before he prevailed in his Appeal Court case in January, 2019. Dr. Duku
appeared before the Investigative Committee set up to investigate his conduct and
made submissions. When the Investigative Committee submitted its report to the
4 Disciplinary Board, Dr. Duku decided not to appear before the Committee with a letter
from his lawyers advising him not to make any appearance.

8. It must be made clear that Dr. Duku who was never one of those affected by the
Disciplinary action against the six officers let alone occasioning a dismissal, led the
Applicants in the case as the 1st Applicant and exhibited the courage of deposing to all
the affidavits for and on behalf of the applicants inducing a such volunti non fit injuria
(voluntary assumption of risk) position case with the resultant responsibility on Dr.
Duku to be present in court throughout the hearings of these applications sometimes at
the expense of his lectures.

9. The Disciplinary Board is set up by the Vice-Chancellor and its functions are founded
on rules formulated by the Governing Council. The University administrative system
runs on rules, regulations, Boards, and Committees established to ensure effective
maintenance of discipline in order to ensure the smooth running of the system. Failure
to appear before a Disciplinary Board without any justifiable reason constitutes gross
misconduct. By failing to appear before the Disciplinary Board, Dr. Duku showed gross
misconduct and disrespected the authority of the Governing Council. It was an act of
indiscipline that would never be countenanced in any academic environment. Indeed,
during the pendency of his Court case, a move that led to his summoning before the
two committees, Dr. Duku at a point filed an injunction application against the
Chairman of the Governing Council, the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar, praying the
court to place injunction on the Graduation Ceremony. The decision to hold the
graduation ceremony emanated from an Academic Board meeting which was approved
by Council. Dr. Duku, on the eve of the event and at a time when students from all
corners of Ghana had converged in Winneba for the Congregation, through sheer
mischief sought to estop the University from going ahead with the event. The
University went ahead to conduct the Congregation and Dr. Duku led the other five
dismissed officers to bring contempt application against the Chairman of Council , the
Vice-Chancellor, and the Registrar with the sole aim of committing them to prison. The
contempt application was dismissed. It was clear that Dr. Duku’s conduct towards his
employers was unprovoked and meant to create mischief for the University especially,
the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and the Chairman of the Governing Council and as well
cause disaffection for the graduating students. Is it not quite clear that in his attempt to
ground the graduation programme and cause so much anguish, financial loss to the
university and students Dr. Duku had grossly misconducted himself and had to be
seriously disciplined? Was this behaviour of Dr. Duku not a breach of Statute 36 for
which the Governing Council could summon him for disciplinary measures under
Schedule G 2(b) and (d)?
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10. Ladies and gentlemen, we also wish to draw your attention to acts of indiscipline,
insubordination, and disregard for authority that have characterised Dr. Frimpong
Duku’s behaviour during and after the violence unleashed on the University. Dr.
Frimpong Duku, interestingly, is one of the three personalities whose actions urged
students to engage in violent behaviour during the March 14, 2019 riot. There are
several videos in our possession and circulating on social media as evidence of this
rabble rousing and needlessly inciting behaviour visited on our students in the
Winneba Campus.

Prof Ephraim Avea Nsoh
11. Prof. Avea Nsoh’s disciplinary action followed similar due process that was used to
bring disciplinary action against Dr. Duku. However, because of Prof. Avea Nsoh’s
status as Principal of a College and for that matter a Principal Member of the
University, a Disciplinary Board comprising high profile members from the Governing
Council, a staff of Professorial Status and another external person of high repute was set
up by the Governing Council to address charges that had been raised against Prof. Avea
Nsoh. The Disciplinary Board found that Prof. Avea Nsoh
i. organised a talk/seminar on Campus on a matter that was before the High
Court without due approval from Management; and at that talk played the role
of a University spokesmen, made wicked insinuations and unreasonably
attacked Management
ii. had on several occasions shown that he had no regard for Authority in the
University
iii. habitually absented himself from duty without any cause or reasonable excuse
12. Ladies and gentlemen, Prof. Avea Nsoh held the high position of a Principal of this
University. He was part of the Management team that is entrusted with ensuring
discipline and smooth running of the administrative system of the University. He also
reported to the Vice-Chancellor in the discharge of his duties. He, therefore, like any
other Principal Officer, should be held to a higher degree of discipline than any other
Senior Member below his rank. Prof. Avea Nsoh has shown again and again, through
his behaviour and his several interactions on the airwaves that he holds the
administration led by the current Vice-Chancellor in contempt and also has no regard
for authority. The disciplinary action taken against Prof. Avea Nsoh was done in regard
to due process and, especially, of his persistent errant behaviour that is highly
unbecoming of a Principal Officer as well as a Senior Member of the University.
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13. On Saturday, March 16, 2019, Prof. Ephraim Avea Nsoh also appeared on CitiTV
morning show still regarding himself as Principal of the Ajumako Campus. Prof. Avea
Nsoh demonstrated contempt and high level of insubordination to the Governing
Council.
Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong
14. Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong was also taken through due process before Council
instituted the disciplinary measure against him and terminated his appointment. Dr.
Sarpong appeared before both the Investigative body and the Disciplinary Board and
was also found to have misconducted himself on the following grounds:
i. Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong admitted walking out on the Chairman and
Members of the UEW Governing Council at its meeting held on 22nd February,
2018 without permission. The Board considered the act as an insubordination,
and thus, a misconduct.
ii. Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong’s behaviour actually showed disrespect to the
Council Chairman and Members of the UEW Governing Council at the
scheduled Council meeting held on 22nd February, 2018. The Board deemed it
unacceptable by all standards.
iii. The Board found it unacceptable that Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong was unaware
that his walk out on Chairman and Members of UEW Governing Council was an
insult and disrespectful, but could only appreciate that when he appeared before
the Committee that investigated him.
iv. Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong also cunningly orchestrated the posting of the letter
inviting him before the Disciplinary Board to be circulated on social media,
particularly on ‘UEW Alumni WhatsApp’ page just to cause disaffection for the
University Management.
Dr. Sarpong’s aberrant behaviour has not ceased. He and others have been captured on
video urging the students on and inciting them to upscale the unruly behaviour that led
to violence and destruction on campus.
Call on Council to call-off all Disciplinary Sanctions
15. When the Governing Council met on March 7, 2019, there were four Senior Members
for whom adverse findings had been made and on whom disciplinary measures were
instituted. However, since UTAG and the affected staff have misled the general public
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into believing that all dismissals, terminations of appointment, suspensions and
demotions instituted under the administration of the current Governing Council and
the Vice Chancellor were done arbitrarily and without basis, we present some details of
some of the disciplinary measures that have been instituted by the current Council in
the last few weeks for the general public and you members of the media to ward off the
misinformation and misrepresentations that have occasioned discussions of some of our
disciplinary measures.
i. One senior member holding a high administrative position has been disciplined
for academic dishonesty and misconduct. The Senior Member was found
culpable of charging students fees in order to support and write their theses and
projects for them. The Disciplinary board found that the act had consistently
happened over several years on the blind side of the Management. He was taken
through due process before Council final decision on him to demote him and
suspend him from the University for one academic year.
ii. A second Senior Member was dismissed for submitting publications for
promotion to Senior Lectureship that contained highly plagiarized information
and materials in almost all the articles submitted. He was taken through due
process and subsequently dismissed.
iii. Two Senior Staff working in the Finance Section of the University were
dismissed after investigations revealed that they had engaged in fraud, forgery,
falsification of documents and acts meant to cause financial loss to the
University. In one case the Accounting Officer forged and changed a claim on
prescription from GHC67 to dishonestly claim same as GHC 3942. This was not
the only act that had previously been perpetrated by the said officer.
iv. Two Senior Staff from the Finance Department were also suspended for acts that
constituted negligence of duty and misconduct.
v. One staff had had a non-renewal of appointment for a breach of his service
conditions
16. The exaggeration that 30 members of staff have been dismissed, suspended or
demoted under the current Governing Council is only meant to put us and the current
management administration in negative light. Interestingly, it comes from our own
senior members who know the facts and can attest to them.
17. Ladies and gentlemen, the Governing Council strongly believes that an institution
that undermines discipline in its system is sure to disintegrate and become ridiculed
sooner or later. Council believes that discipline is the hub, bedrock and engine of any
effective administrative system. On matters of discipline, the Governing Council highly
8
commends the level of discipline that the Vice-Chancellor, Very Rev. Father Professor
Anthony Afful-Broni has instituted in the administrative system of the University since
his induction into office some seven months ago and also during the period he acted as
the Vice-Chancellor. Council is in full support of his administration, affirm his tenure
and urge him to continue the standard of discipline that he is instilling in the system.
UTAG National’s Position on Council’s Disciplinary Decisions
18. The Governing Council notes with disappointment a Press Statement in which
UTAG, led by the President Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah, made several categorical but false
statements against the Vice-Chancellor and, by implication, the Governing Council. Dr.
Eric Opoku Mensah in the said Statement also called on the Vice-Chancellor to
immediately withdraw all letters of dismissals, suspensions and demotions and,
subsequently, resign his office. Indeed, UTAG had put out 3 major issues in their Press
Statement circulated on social media and all other major media platforms. These
include:
i. A call on the Vice-Chancellor to reinstate all staff affected by the disciplinary
measures instituted by Council;
ii. An open and, uncharacteristically, subversive support for students to protest- an
act that eventually became violent and led to the destruction of properties
and injuries to lives; and
iii. A call on the Vice-Chancellor to honourably resign to save the University from
further deterioration.
Council is disappointed with the above stand taken by UTAG National because taking
such stand is not only sad, but also highly hypocritical.
Executives of UTAG National know the processes in public universities that have to be
exhausted before any final disciplinary decision could be taken against any Senior
Member. The President of UTAG, Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah is clearly aware that in all
Universities where a Governing Council is in charge of the governance structure, the
Vice-Chancellor cannot dismiss any Senior Member. Dismissal or termination of
appointment is always at the instance of the Governing Council and NEVER that of the
Vice-Chancellor. The Governing Council takes full responsibility for all the disciplinary
decisions and asks UTAG to leave the Vice-Chancellor alone.
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Call on the Vice-Chancellor to Resign
19. The Governing Council wishes to emphasise that the appointment of the ViceChancellor is its sole prerogative as provided for in section 13 (1) and (2) of Act 672 and
doesn’t intend to share it with any other entity. The Vice-Chancellor performs his
functions to the total satisfaction of Council.
The Governing Council once again resolves that Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony AffulBroni remains the substantive Vice-Chancellor of our University. He will fully be
supported to carry out this mandate until the end of his tenure in 2021. We are fully in
support of his administration and are proud of the successes he has chalked in just a
period of seven months after his induction and assumption of duty as the substantive
Vice Chancellor.
The Way Forward
20. Ladies and gentlemen, the Governing Council over the last weekend puts its team
together to assess the cost of damages done to the properties of the University and some
staff. The total cost of damages is estimated at about GHC 250,000. We need to
understand that broken down critical facilities such as vehicles, ATMs, glass windows
and others affected by the violence may have to be fully repaired or replaced before the
students could be asked to report back to the two Campuses. There is also the need to
do a clean-up and undertake a repair or restoration of major facilities on our campuses
before we could ask the students to come back.
21. The Governing Council is mindful of the consequence of a prolonged stay of
students at home and is doing everything in its power to ensure that, in consultation
with REGSEC and with their approval, the Winneba and Ajumako campuses become
opened within the shortest practicable time.
22. Based on appeals by well-meaning Ghanaians and other respected personalities, the
Governing Council will consider any petition that it may receive from affected staff.
However, Council wishes to add that such review will be on case by case basis.
23. Council is in the process of constituting an Investigative Committee to unravel the
circumstances and rationale behind the unrest. The terms of reference for the committee
will also include suggesting ways to prevent such unfortunate occurrences in the future.
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24. The Governing Council and Management have very much been guided by Articles
23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution that touch on fairness and good discretion in the
running of Public institutions and same have influenced all our Administrative
decisions.

Thank you for your time and attention.
God Bless UEW
God Bless our homeland Ghana.
Signed: Prof. E. N Abakah
Chairman, Governing Council

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