Reinstate 13 Sarbah Hall Suspended Students
7/19/2012 6:31:49 PM -
Executives of the Mensah Sarbah Hall Junior Common Room (JCR) of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, have asked for the reinstatement of the 13 students suspended indefinitely in connection with the Amina Haruna sexual abuse incident.
Failure to reinstate them would mean dragging the university management to court for abuse of the educational rights of the said students.
This followed the Accra Circuit Court’s discharge of the accused students on grounds of inadequate evidence after 15 months of court proceedings.
The President of the Mensah Sarbah Hall JCR, Mr Edward Tutor, said at a press conference organised by his hall’s JCR in collaboration with the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) and the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) at Legon.
Mr Tutor pointed out that various degrees of injustice had been meted out to the 13 accused students by the university management, some gender advocates, the media and the police service during the period of investigation of the incident.
He condemned the UG’s decision to indefinitely suspend the accused students without proper investigation for want of protecting the name of the institution.
“The JCR however believes that in pursuance of justice, further injustices should not be perpetuated by others”, he stated.
He noted that the university worsened the injustice done his colleagues by keeping them out of school.
“If the UG does not respect the judgment of a competent court of justice and reinstate our brothers, we’ll have no choice than to drag them to court”, he added.
The Press Secretary of NUGS, Mr Austin Brako Powers, appealed to the UG to reconsider its decision to penalise the accused students, especially after they had been vindicated in court.
He said the decision of the court of the Republic of Ghana was superior to that of the educational institution that did not have enough evidence to stall the education of the students.
The Women’s Commissioner of NUGS, Miss Ernestina Ofoe, for her part condemned violence of any form against women, saying that the treatment given Amina Haruna was unfair.
She, however, added that suspending students from school without just cause amounted also to human rights abuse by the university.
The press conference was to express the view of student leadership on the discharged court case which resulted from the alleged manhandling of the 25-year old suspected female thief at the Mensah Sarbah Hall Annex B (Okponglo) on Thursday, March 30, 2011.
The 13 students were identified out of 29 students handed over to the police by the UG for having participated in the molestation of Amina, an action which they said marred the image of the institution.
They were investigated and tried for allegedly spotting the suspect with stolen mobile phones and a laptop at the hall of the university at about 1 a.m. on the day in question. The students stripped her naked and inserted their fingers into her private part.
They were said to have been identified through a video footage released onto the internet by an unknown person.
Some gender activists raised concerns over the discharge of the students for lack of justice over the sexual abuse of Amina.