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20.11.2006 Education

Commonwealth Hall Master reacts to JCR allegations

By The Ghanaian Times
Commonwealth Hall Master reacts to JCR allegations
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Professor Harry Akussah, the Commonwealth Hall Master of the University of Ghana has described allegations of misappropriation of funds leveled against him and the Senior Tutor, Dr Frank Nyame as false.

He said the accusations only amounted to a vendetta being pursued against him by the JCR President, Benjamin Akyena Brantuo.

The JCR, in a memo to the Vice Chancellor on November 16, under the headline “Financial misappropriation and official connivance in Commonwealth Hall,” called for an independent committee of enquiry into the financial administration of the hall “as soon as possible”.

The memo, signed by Benjamin Akyena Brantuo, accused officials of the hall, including the hall master, Prof Akussah and the Senior Tutor, Dr Frank Nyame of misappropriation of funds.

In a statement issued to the press, Prof Akussah contended that the views expressed in the memo were the personal views of the JCR president and not that of the JCR.

“Ever since the management of Commonwealth Hall revoked the residential status of Akyena Brantuo and suspended him from sitting on all statutory boards and committees of the hall and the university regulations, he has been pursuing a series of agenda aimed at destroying my image and that of the senior tutor”.

He therefore endorsed Mr Brantuo's call for an independent committee of enquiry into the financial administration of the hall.

In a separate letter to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Akussah said the independent enquiry would be necessary “even though the accounts of the hall (JCR accounts inclusive) are annually audited by both internal and external auditors.”

On the JCR president's accusation of diversion of 1.5 billion cedis, being three years' SRC dues, the statement said the dues for the three years in question totaled only 673.844.000 cedis.

“There is therefore no way that I could have converted 1.5 billion cedis which never have been in JCR accounts anyway,” the statement said.

The JC president's memo also accused Prof Akussah of making questionable payments of 39 million cedis for a large screen plasma projector television, 15 million cedis funeral expenditure in Cape Coast, 4 million cedis for sporting activities in Koforidua and 4.8 million for vague clean up exercise and said these were “crucial cases in point”.

But Prof Akussah said in his statement that “these were cheques issued to JCR executives on request, to execute their programmes”.

“JCR requests are routed through the Senior Tutor who recommends them after scrutiny to my office. After further scrutiny, I approve the request which goes through the audit process before cheques are issued into the account of the JCR,” he explained.

The statement said: “Akyena Brantuo may be right in pointing out that some of the monies issued to the JCR may have been misapplied. He, however, failed to mention the 51 million cedis of JCR money he spent on the 48th Hall Week celebration, and the 50 T-Shirts and 50 scarves he collected for sale, all of which he could not account for”.

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