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09.09.2005 General News

Ansa-Asare hijacked SRC accounts


The President of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), Mr. John Allan, yesterday told the committee of Enquiry probing the director of the school, Mr. Kwaku Ansa-Asare that the director hijacked the students' dues without any accountability and transparency to the students. According to Mr. Allan, even though the Constitution stated that the account of the SRC be separated from the School's account, the SRC dues had been made part of the fees and thus, end up in the school's account, under the direct control of the director.

He stated that this is contrary to the provision that the SRC President and the Registrar became signatories to the separate account.

Testifying before the committee yesterday, Mr. Allan said whenever students prepared their budget and presented it to the director, he used his discretion to determine whether to approve it or not, adding that it was illegal for the director to control the accounts of the SRC.

The witness said the director fixed the SRC dues for a year at ¢1.2m, though under normal circumstances this was the responsibility of the student body.

On the school fees charged by the GSL, the SRC president told the committee that Legislative Instrument (LI) 12 (96) states how school fees are to be charged, but the Director kept violating it and increased the school fees whenever he wanted.

He told the committee to effect the LI or force the General Legal Council (GLC) to amend it to enable students who are brilliant students pursue the law course, adding that astronomical school fees charged by the school do not commensurate the standard of the facilities in the school and stressed that the toilets in the school are in a deplorable state, with neither seats nor doors, thus leaving users without privacy.

The president submitted that his last examination was delayed for twenty minutes, because the director was in suit going around to seize the answer sheets of students who were owing in fees, to prevent them from writing.

He cited the plight of a student, Nii Amasa, who was prevented by the director from writing his paper and described it as “inhumane on the part of the Director to prevent him from writing.'

The SRC President said the dues are for extra curricular activities by the students, but not meant for the purchase of a photocopier machine, furniture and Public Address Systems (PA).

He said article 14 of the SRC constitution allowed the students to audit their account but Mr. Ansa-Asare prevented the leadership of the student body from knowing anything about the account.

Mr. Allan provided the committee with a four-page pocket size Code of Conduct, which he indicated were sold to students at ¢50,000.

Mr. Isaac Anim, the principal accountant, tendered in evidence invoices and payment vouchers on books purchased from Read wide between 2001 and 2002, as was requested of him by the committee the previous day.

He told the committee that to the best of his knowledge all the books were ordered from Read Wide Bookshop, and the director, through the Registrar effected payments.

Responding to a question from the committee, the witness said the books were not shown to them before they were stocked in the library, adding that when the director spoke, it was final and everybody must obey for fear of losing their job.

Witness told the committee that the attitude of the director made work in the school very difficult and “for fear of dismissal we had to condone the wrong doings.”

He said the director and the registrar decided where and when to buy, effecting payments through the accountants, when the books had not been seen.

In response to a question from the committee, regarding the quantities of books purchased, Mr. Anim said, since Mr. Ansa-Asare took over the directorship of the GSL, they bought volumes of the same title of books compared to the tenure of Mr. Bimpong Buta, where small quantities of about three books were bought from Advanced Legal Publications, EPP, Kingdom and Challenge bookshops, depending on who offered a lower price.

Mr. Charles Ntiaku, a security man, told the committee that the director had always discriminated against him, when he applied for a loan to enable him rent a room.

He accused the director also of subjecting the workers to inhuman treatments.

Sitting was adjourned to Tuesday, next week.