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08.09.2005 General News

Akamba Committee to wind up next week


Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - The Akamba Committee set up to investigate allegations of corruption and abuse of office against Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana Law School (GSL), would wind up its sittings next Thursday. All those who wish to present their complaints to the Committee are, therefore, advised to do so between Tuesday September 15 and Thursday September 15.

Justice Joseph Bawa Akamba, Chairman of the five-member Committee, who announced this on Thursday at its sitting, said the committee would then pursue and investigate other aspects of the case. Meanwhile at Thursday's sitting, Mr Isaac Enim, Principal Accountant of the GSL, told the Committee that out of fear, many workers at the GSL accepted Mr Ansa-Asare's orders, even if they were against the ethics of his administration.

Mr Enim said he was made by Mr Ansa-Asare to make payments on a number of purchases although he never saw any proof of purchase. He said on one occasion, he was instructed by Mr Ansa-Asare to make payment through a cheque of 50 million cedis to one Yaw Asare for clearing law books that had been purchased by the school. Mr Enim said just when he was about to issue the cheque, he was again instructed by Mr Ansa-Asare to rather issue the cheque in the name of Read Wide, a book selling company belonging to Mr Ansa-Asare. He said Mr Ansa-Asare told him that Read Wide had paid Mr Yaw Asare the 50 million cedis that the GSL owed him. Mr Enim said out of fear of losing his job, he never crosschecked transactions that the school carried out even when there was enough cause to do so.

He said due to the tyrannical and intimidating nature of Mr Ansa-Asare, it was better for one to keep quiet under such circumstances.

Mr John Allan, President of the Students Representative Council of the GSL, appealed to the Committee to recommend that students should not be prevented from writing examinations because they had not paid the full tuition fees.

He said one had to take into consideration the fact that the annual fees of 16.25 million cedis were very high. Mr Allan said while writing a paper at the last semester examinations, he along with other students were sacked by Mr Ansa-Asare, who personally went round with the index numbers of defaulting students and seized their papers.

He argued that by Legislative Instrument (LI) 1296, GSL students were to pay a total of 3,400 cedis.

Mr Allan said so far as that law had not been amended, he could not understand why they had to be paying their present fees. He said students had also been asked to pay an additional one million cedis for furniture for the next academic year. He complained that in spite of the huge fees paid by students, they were still made to pay for the public address system for their lectures because the lecture halls were large, adding that they paid these monies out of their SRC dues.

Mr Allan asked why that had to be the responsibility of students instead of the school administration, saying, "one wonders what the fees are used for".

He said SRC dues were determined and collected by Mr Ansa-Asare, adding that under Mr Ansa-Asare's directive, they were paying 1.2 million cedis a year per student as SRC dues. Mr Allan said in spite of this, the SRC had to petition Mr Ansa-Asare any time they needed money from their dues and added that Mr Ansa-Asare would only give them the amount if he thought it was necessary.

Mr Allan said the dues had been used to purchase of a bus, a photocopier, and other items, which were to be purchased by the administration of the school and not SRC dues. He also asked the Committee to investigate a case in which some students failed to account for monies they solicited in the name of the GSL for an exchange programme.

Mr Allan said although the SRC set up a committee to investigate the case, the Director prevented them from working with the reason that it was not the responsibility of the SRC but that of the School. He told the committee that the hasty dismissal of lecturers badly affected the students.

The SRC President said new lecturers were sometimes unable to adequately continue with lessons they were going through with the old ones, and this affected students.

Mr Charles Antiaku, a security man with the GSL, complained that salaries of security men employed by the GSL were meagre compared to those of private security companies that were hired to assist them. He said while GSL security personnel were being paid about 550,000 cedis each, the hired security personnel were paid 1.2 million cedis each.

Mr Antiaku said Mr Ansa-Asare harassed them and practised favouritism. He cited an instance where the Director granted a worker, who was not above his grade, a loan without problems. However, he had to go on his knees to beg Mr Ansa-Asare to be given half of what he had requested.

Meanwhile, Mr Ansa-Asare has filed a suit to be moved on September 21 at the High Court, praying the court to prohibit the five-members of the Committee from sitting as a Committee appointed by the General Legal Council.

He said the right to equal treatment had not been given him by the Committee.