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02.11.2008 Feature Article

Finally, the proverbial Fat Lady has sung!

It took the Accra Fast-Track High Court more than six months to hand down its verdict, but the good news is that the court, finally, decided to truck on the side of common sense and reason. Indeed, when Mr. Egbert Faibille, Jr., filed his idiotic and frivolous lawsuit against Dr. Stephen Adei , rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), many of us promptly called for the outright dismissal of the suit.

First of all, the plaintiff was clearly not qualified to launch such a lawsuit, in view of the fact of him also not being obviously qualified to teach at the rank of “professor,” or even “associate professor,” at any Ghanaian institution of higher learning.

Secondly, it appeared that the plaintiff, who is also a former student of the GIMPA rector, had a gratuitous and personal axe to grind with his former teacher. The suit also luridly pretended as if those faculty members and staff who Dr. Adei was being accused of professionally injuring were, somehow, ignorant of their own fundamental human and civil right to initiate a lawsuit on their own behalf, if, in fact, they had been as flagrantly injured as the plaintiff and his equally misguided counsel were claiming.

Thirdly, Mr. Faibille appeared to have fatuously, presumptuously and singularly appointed himself as sole and foremost protector of academic and professional standards and integrity of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. The plaintiff also naively appeared to believe that the country's Fourth-Republican democratic dispensation entitled him to launch his frivolous lawsuit. Mr. Faibille, who does not appear to have creditably acquitted himself as a prosperous legal practitioner, was clearly out to make a hero out of himself at the damnable expense of his former teacher. Now he has himself to blame for the rest of his life. For, his intended appeal against the constructive and all-too-progressive verdict of the Accra Fast-Track High Court that presided over his suit is certain to be dismissed outright and post haste.

Fourthly, we are of the firm opinion that the awarding of the sum of ¢ 1,000.00 against the plaintiff is too niggardly to send a strong and deterrent message to both Mr. Faibille and other equally misguided litigants who, like the latter, are intent on embarking on such quixotic attempt to stultify Ghanaian judicial culture in the near future. To be certain, the court ought to have ordered the plaintiff to settle any and all legal fees incurred by the defendant, as well as monetary costs for gratuitously attempting to humiliate and totally destroy the career and hard-earned reputation of the GIMPA rector, whose only crime appears to have been his yeomanly effort to serve his country in a laudable manner that the plaintiff could barely, if at all, fathom. And on the latter score also, it goes without saying that not only has the unconscionable plaintiff caused the defendant unnecessary aggravation, humiliation, mental and psychological anguish for the better part of a year now, the entire Adei family has also been callously plunged into a state of perennial harassment and incalculable suffering. And on the latter score alone, we feel compelled to advise Professor Stephen Adei to explore the imminent possibility of launching a multimillion-cedi lawsuit against the plaintiff.

It is also rather unpardonably arrogant and outright insane for Mr. Faibille to sit in Ghana and presume to judge the academic and professional integrity of the Zambian institution that, reportedly, conferred the very fitting status of “Professor” on Dr. Stephen Adei. Perhaps the Ghanaian academy and, indeed, the general public, need to call on the plaintiff to explain to us precisely when and how Mr. Faibille came to envisage himself as the peremptory appraiser of continental African academic institutions. On the latter score, also, we solemnly urge the authorities of the Zambian academy that, reportedly, promoted Dr. Adei to the rank of Professor to explore the possibility of launching a massive lawsuit against the quixotic and hot-headed Mr. Faibille.

Personally, we feel inexpressibly vindicated by the auspicious and progressive ruling of the Accra Fast-Track High Court that threw out Mr. Faibille's suit. And here, we take the liberty and pleasure of recalling the fact that when Mr. Faibille's suit against Professor Stephen Adei first made headline news, we promptly predicted that the plaintiff was certain to lose his patently absurd and frivolous suit against the GIMPA head. For, the suit also flagrantly impugned the integrity of the mechanism by which Dr. Adei was hired to both act and function as head of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. We also, back then, observed that had the board or committee that engaged the administrative services of Dr. Adei not deemed the latter to merit the coordinate academic and professional rank of “Full-Professor,” the defendant would not have been named head of an august institution such as GIMPA, an institution that is authorized to award professorial ranks to its faculty and staff.

In the end, however, our main concern here is the deleterious impact that the unconscionable persecution of the GIMPA rector might have already had on other Ghanaian academics and professionals resident abroad who, until Mr. Faibille launched his nightmarish lawsuit, had noble intentions of returning home and, like Dr. Stephen Adei, laudably and significantly contributing to the development of not only the ramshackle Ghanaian educational system, but the general development of our country of birth. And here, it goes without saying that the dismissal of his frivolous lawsuit notwithstanding, the pernicious ramifications of the same is likely to haunt other well-meaning Ghanaians, particularly those of us resident in the Diaspora, for a long time to come. We also hope that this unprovoked baptism of fire has not, in any way, dampened the resolve of Professor Adei to continue to give off his best to the crucial development of Ghanaian academic and professional culture. Indeed, should the GIMPA rector decide to quit offering his significant and laudable services to the Ghanaian academy and even seek psychological and spiritual respite abroad, we would understand, albeit reluctantly.

On the verge of tears, both tears of joy and acute sadness and anger, we take this somber opportunity to congratulate Professor Stephen Adei, a former United Nations Development Program (UNDP) regional representative for southern Africa, and his family, particularly his wife and colleague, for having stoically and admirably survived this dastardly attempt by an urchin to destroy their lives and self-worth, even as we equally recognize the couple's humanity and fallibility. God bless our homeland, Ghana!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of 18 books, including “Selected Political Writings” (Atumpan Publications/lulu.com, 2008) and “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2008

This author has authored 4768 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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