In what could be best described as draconian bullying tactics, the authorities at Ghana's premier university, the University of Ghana, Legon have impounded two cesspit emptiers for allegedly disposing waste on the institution's land.
On top of the seizure, Legon is demanding a whopping one billion cedis from the owners of the two trucks before their release.
Investigations have revealed that on February 24 this year, the drivers of the vehicles with registration numbers GR 601 V and GE 82 W were engaged by one Dua on behalf of the Ghana Hostel Limited to empty the effluent of their hostels on the University of Ghana campus.
According to the drivers, they obtained clearance from the University authorities to enter the campus to dispose of the waste and were shown the place where the university community dumps its waste and subsequently they discharged the waste removed from the University Hostel cesspit at the same place.
It was when they were returning that they were arrested by the university engineer who collected the keys to the vehicles from them on the grounds that the place was meant for the university alone and no one else.
Several appeals by the drivers fell on deaf ears with the engineer insisting that until the amount of one billion cedis was paid the vehicles would not be released.
Meanwhile, the legal team of the vehicle owners, Heward-Mills & Co is preparing for a legal battle with the authorities of the university as per a letter written on March 19, this year and copied to both the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar of the University- demanding the release of the vehicles.
The letter stated among others that: “We hereby at the instructions of our clients demand the immediate release of the Mercedes vehicle with registration number GR 601 V to our clients. Take notice and notice is hereby served on you that, within seven days, if we do not hear from you, legal proceedings shall be commenced against you for the recovery of the vehicles, the loss of income and the interest thereon as well as costs without any further recourse to you.”
It is therefore very clear that after waiting for three weeks without receiving a reply from the University of Ghana, the stage is now set for legal battle which only a court of law could determine.
In the course of investigations, the Vice Chancellor's office was contacted, but a directive was given to see one Philip Azundow, director of operations who said that the university was demanding the one billion cedis from owners of the two vehicles because it would take the university more than five years to reclaim that land on which the waste was deposited.
Source: The Heritage