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18.05.2007 General News

Legon students call for resignation of VC, Registrar

By Conor McCreery

The President of the Junior Common Room of Commonwealth Hall is calling for Vice-Chancellor Clifford N B Tagoe, and Registrar Teddy Konu to immediately step down from their posts.

"They are very dangerous" says JCR President Evans Amankwah. Chief among his office's complaints is an allegation the registrar"s office improperly communicated with the Criminal Investigations Department.

Amankwah says a CID letter requesting information on the whereabouts of Benjamin Akyena (who has been accused of sending threatening letters to the Vice-Chancellor) was addressed to the wrong student, was not on letter head, and did not have a proper stamp.

The students say the letter was inquiring about Mr. Benjamen Achina. "Would it not be reasonable" said "Stephen" a member of the hall "if the Registrar at least said, we do not have a student of this name? We have one of a similar name [Akyena], is this the one you want?"

"It could be the wrong man" adds Amankwah.

Instead the students say the Registrar and the Vice-Chancellor conspired to give information to the CID that led to a room in Commonwealth Hall being raided by police. (The Statesman was unable to reach Mr Konu for comment)

The demand for resignations is one of three the Students are making in reaction to the ongoing controversy over the new IN-OUT-OUT-OUT housing policy. That policy would limit most of the University's residence spaces solely for the use of incoming Level 100 students.

While the JCR says it will "stay out" of Akyena's court hearings it also demands the police allow Akyena come to campus and write exams. "He is innocent until proven guilty" Amankwah says. "Let them move him like they do for court. If it turns out he didn't write the letter he will be behind for no reason."

Amankwah dismisses fears Akyena might run if brought to Legon. "If he came to Commonwealth the police could snap him quickly" he says. The JCR President added he would provide sanctuary to the accused but says he couldn't realistically keep Akyena out of government hands.

The final demand of the JCR is the immediate dissolution of all political groups on campus. It's asked the General Assembly of the Senior Residence Council to ban all political organisations until "further notice".

The students say the move would be temporary and is needed because political groups have been wielding too much influence on campus of late. They point to Article 9 of the SRC Constitution which justifies the Assembly to "rule on anything affecting the welfare of the interest of students" as proof the matter falls under the GA.

And the JCR is turning upon an unlikely source to also justify its call - the government. "The Bureau of National Investigations says socialist groups are influencing students on campus" says Amankwah.

Therefore the JCR thinks, to be fair, all the political organisations should be viewed with equal suspicion.

But, Sasu Mensah the Secretary of the Tertiary Education Students Confederation of the NPP begs to disagree. "Where are the facts?" he asks, adding his organisation is properly registered and therefore the SRC, despite Article 9, has no cause to act. "Are we the ones to be held responsible for this?"