The impending legal showdown between Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr. and Dr Stephen Adei, the GIMPA Council, and the GIMPA Administration over a number of issues raised in a writ by Mr Faibille, including the alleged self-designated “Prof” title by the GIMPA Rector and his tenure of office, takes centre stage next Monday at the Accra Fast Track High Court, when lawyers for the two sides meet to square it off.
The impending battle is over whether Faibille has a right to bring an action to compel the GIMPA Council and Administration to act on the issues he has raised, as well as whether he is clothed with jurisdiction to sue the three plaintiffs.
This is the result of a motion filed by Adei seeking to dismiss the case on the basis that Faibille has no capacity to bring the said action.
Lawyers for Adei have filed a conditional appearance in the case and raised issues with the capacity of Faibille to initiate the writ, claiming that because GIMPA is founded on rules and regulations and because Adei's is an employee of GIMPA, it is the authorities of that institution who Adei is answerable to and not a member of the general public.
The determination of whether the GIMPA boss is a qualified Professor, according to their argument, is also outside the remit of any member of the public and can only be decided by his employers.
In their view, Faibille is not clothed with jurisdiction to bring the action he has taken and the writ should, therefore, be thrown out.
But in an affidavit in opposition filed by his lawyer, Faibille, who is himself a lawyer and a journalist, says that he has the capacity to bring the said action against the defendants because it is offensive to public policy in Ghana for one such as the 1st Defendant/Applicant; who has not been duly and so appointed as a Professor at or of any public tertiary institution or granted the dispensation by any public tertiary institution to hold himself out as a professor to continuously; by acts of commission and omission refer to himself as a professor and lead the unsuspecting members of the public on by various acts to believe that he is a professor so and duly appointed at a public tertiary institution.
According to him, the GIMPA Administration is a public tertiary institution and therefore any issue about its management, appointments of administrative and academic staff, particularly the Rector and his tenure, award of degrees, accounts and other related provisions as provided for under its enabling Act, is of public interest in furtherance of the solemn declaration of freedom, justice, probity and accountability as subscribed to by the people of Ghana in the preamble of the 1992 Constitution.
He further argued that Adei has been sued in his personal capacity in respect of fraudulent claims he has been making to unsuspecting members of the Ghanaian public, the whole world and the President of the Republic of Ghana and that “as part of this trickery, fraud and misrepresentation, many members of the unsuspecting public flocked and continue to flock to the 3rd Defendant/Applicant institution to study courses and for post graduate degrees and certificate programmes in 'Leadership' under his feet; when he does not have any express or implied consent of the appointing authority as a so-called Professor of Leadership.”
His contention is that that “the grand scheme of fraudulent representation of himself to the unsuspecting public, academia and the whole world” began on July 5, 2002 when he caused a publication in the mass circulating and state-owned Daily Graphic newspaper of that date that he has been appointed a 'Professor of Leadership of Africa' by the Harare-Zimbabwe based Africa Leadership & Management Academy.
He argued that from that date, Dr Adei has held himself out variously through intra-GIMPA memoranda, notices, correspondence to other institutions both within and without Ghana, bodies and publications to the public and even on the worldwide web that he is a duly appointed and recognised professor of Leadership at GIMPA.
“That the 1st Defendant/Applicant has in an application dated the 4th day of September, 2007 (Exhibit II Attached); the same date on which I issued the writ against the Defendant/Applicants, recognised and admitted that he has been fraudulent in appropriating to himself the title of 'Professor' and has applied to the 2nd Defendant/Applicant body to submit himself to the due process pertaining at the 3rd Defendant/Applicant institution to be duly appointed a 'Professor.'”
Faibille argued that GIMPA's acts and actions can be challenged and/or enforced in any cause by a member of the public and a citizen of the Republic who is desirous of giving force to its provisions through the High Court or any court of competent jurisdiction as provided for under the laws of Ghana.
“That I am also advised by my Lawyer and verily believe same to be true that the 2nd Defendant/Applicant body is enjoined by the enabling Act of the 3rd Defendant/Applicant to submit reports to the Minister of Education; if the Minister so requires; and the Minister is in turn enjoined to submit the said report to Parliament; which action make the 3rd Defendant/Applicant institute a public one; and for which reason any citizen of the republic can sue to ensure that the provisions of its enabling law are given effect to.
“That I am also further advised by my Lawyer and verily believe same to be true that notwithstanding the fact that there are specified bodies at the 3rd Defendant/Applicant institute to deal with the issues raised in my writ and accompanying statement of claim; any member of the public such as my good self and for that matter; a citizen of the Republic is clothe with capacity to sue all the Defendant/Applicants jointly and/or severally for the enforcement of the provisions of the enabling law of the 3rd Defendant/Applicant institute.”