The Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) has invited Dr. Michael Boadu, the dismissed assistant senior registrar of the C.K. Tedam University of Applied Sciences and Technology, to respond to allegations that he used a fake certificate to get his job.
Sources at EOCO , who spoke to The Fourth Estate on condition of anonymity, say the anti-corruption institution is investigating allegations of fake certificates and ‘over-aged’ appointments that have put the three-year-old university under the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Also invited for questioning are the Vice-chancellor, Prof. Eric Magnus Wilmot, and registrar, Dr. V.A. Ankamah-Lomotey, who are still at post even though they have passed the retirement age.
The two senior university administrators appeared before EOCO last week but Dr Boadu is yet to.
Their invitation to EOCO follows a petition EOCO received from a resident of Navrongo, Joseph Pwoawuvi Weguri, who alleged that both the vice chancellor and the registrar were unfit to hold substantive positions in the university.
Mr. Weguri also alleged that Prof Wilmot and Dr. Ankamah-Lomotey also superintended over the hiring of the assistant senior registrar, Dr. Boadu, whose Bachelor of Law and Master of Public Administration certificates were purportedly acquired from the University of Ghana were fake.
Apart from the petition to EOCO, Mr. Weguri has filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of Prof. Eric Wilmot and Dr. Ankamah-Lomotey on the grounds that the two are above the retirement age and are, therefore, ineligible to hold their positions.
In addition to their removal from office, the plaintiff also wants the court to order the two defendants to refund all monies they received from the Consolidated Fund and/or from the university, including salaries and allowances, and costs, plus legal fees.
Earlier this month, The Fourth Estate reported allegations of impropriety against the three members of the top hierarchy of the C.K. Tedam University of Applied Sciences and Technology.
The university, by letters dated December 1, 2020, appointed Prof. Eric Magnus Wilmot as Vice-Chancellor and Dr. V.A. Ankamah-Lomotey, as Registrar of the institution for full terms of four (4) years each.
Prior to that, in October last year, The Fourth Estate raised alarm about the appointment of the two retirees which had become a matter of concern for the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). The commission has expressed displeasure about the university’s decision to appoint Prof. Eric Wilmot and Dr. Ankamah-Lomotey to substantive positions.
The plaintiff contends that the Act establishing the university mandates it to appoint its officers, including a vice-chancellor and Registrars, in accordance with the statutes of the university.
The plaintiff, however, claims that the appointing authorities violated the public service laws of Ghana, especially Article 199 of the Constitution, 1992, by allowing the public officers to remain in full-term employment after they attain the age of compulsory retirement.
The current retirement age is 60 in accordance with the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), as amended by the National Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 883).“This Act of impunity is also frowned upon by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission Directive on reengagement of retired employees of Higher Education Institutions which states among other things that ‘persons who are re-engaged after retirement subject to permission cannot be assigned position holding roles nor draw allowances due a person still in active service.”
The University’s Council defended the appointment of the “over-aged” VC and registrar in a response to the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC).
“The Governing Council when duly constituted was given the mandate to regularise the appointments of the vice-chancellor and registrar. At the time of their appointment, the vice-chancellor was 58 years old while the registrar was 59 years old. In pursuit of its mandate to appoint a VC and Registrar, the Governing Council constituted a committee, chaired by an eminent retired professor, to interview and ascertain the suitability or otherwise of the two officers.”
“The committee, therefore, subjected the officers to a rigorous interview and submitted its report to the Governing Council. Council discussed and approved the report and then formally sought and obtained approval from the Minister of Education through the Director General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to offer full four-year terms of office to Professor Eric Magnus Wilmot as vice-chancellor and Dr. V. A. Ankamah-Lomotey as registrar, spanning September 2020 to August 2024,” it said in response to the allegations of wrongdoing.
They however admitted that Dr Michael Adusei Boadu presented fake certificates to the University one year into his employment as an assistant registrar.
“Michael Adusei Boadu was unable to present the certificates until late last year when he presented them to the Vice-Chancellor. A few weeks thereafter, the Appointments and Promotions Board met and invited him to present the certificates in person. It was at this point that suspicions were raised after the examination of the certificates. A request for verification of his LLB and Master of Public Administration certificates from the University of Ghana revealed that the said certificates were fake,” Prof. Gordon A. Awandare told the Commission.
Not only that.
Dr. Boadu was asked to refund all salaries and allowances paid to him while in the service of the university.
“You are also required to refund all the salaries and allowances you fraudulently drew from the University from December 2021 to December 2022 to the C.K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences GCB Bank Account number: 9021130002211.
“The amount you are required to refund is Two hundred and thirty-one thousand, One hundred and Eighty-two Ghana Cedis, Sixty-Four Pesewas (231,182,64.00). You may submit a payment plan to cover the full amount paid to you to the Director of Finance not later than January 15, 2023,” the university’s registrar, Dr. V.A. Ankamah Lomotey, wrote.