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15.09.2005 General News

Catastrophe is looming over Legon

By The Independent
Catastrophe is looming over Legon
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Varsity Dons Angry At Council Catastrophe is looming over Ghana's premier university, the University of Ghana, Legon, because the faculty heads are angry at the University Council for usurping the role of the Academic Board, which is the highest body in charge of affairs on campus.

This is in relation to the investigation of the examination leakage scandal that hit the university in the early part of the year, which is now known in some quarters as Legon-gate scandal.

The Independent, after weeks of intensive investigations, can reveal that the side-stepping of the Academic Board has infuriated the entire faculty of the university and has polarized the University into two camps of those who support the prevailing situation including the Registrar, Mr A.T. Konu and other members of the university administration on one side and those who are opposed to it.

The already delicate situation on campus, according to credible sources, is being aggravated by the alleged refusal of the acting Vice Chancellor, Professor C.N.B. Tagoe, and the Registrar, to release the report on investigations already submitted to the administration by the Disciplinary Board led by Professor Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu.

Sources close to the Head of the Faculty of Law have told The Independent that, the report of the disciplinary board to which the Mfodwo Report was referred for further inquiries - has been submitted to the acting Vice Chancellor and the Registrar. And unimpeachable sources close to the Registrar's office have corroborated that fact. The Independent can reveal that the Mensah-Bonsu led board presented its report and another separately submitted by the two dissenting members to the university's management two months ago.

But because those reports fell short of implicating the four accused professors, the university is reluctant to release those reports to the Academic Board or the Council. The Vice Chancellor is expected to forward the reports to the Academic Board, which would have to make recommendations known to the University Council on the matter for implementation. The saga of the undisclosed reports and the side-stepping of the Academic Board is said to have infuriated the professors at the university, who have accused some management and council members of having failed in their witch-hunting expedition to clamp down on Professors Asenso Okyere, Ofori Sarpong, Kwasi Agyemang and Clara Korkor Fayorsey.

An angry Professor told newsmen that the university has a structure which recognizes the Academic Board as the highest body and likened the structure to the British type of government where the Academic board could be equated to the Prime Minister, who takes important decisions and is consulted on all important matters and the University Council to the Queen who is only a ceremonial Head of the Government.

He said, those who side-stepped the Academic Board of the University of Ghana did so for personal aggrandizement, which has the potential of breaking down the university if it should persist. "The procedural irregularities and the systemic errors could spell catastrophe for the university if care is not taken" the Professor warned and added, "it was not for a joke that the structure s were put in place."

The Nfodwo Committee report, he said, should have been sent to the Academic Board, which could have ended the matter on the quiet to spare the university the plight of its name being dragged in the mind. "Side-stepping the Academic Board, amounts to indiscipline of the highest order." Investigations further revealed that there was a tug of war over how the board's report should be couched, which led to two members of the board, Mr Yaw Benneh, Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Law and Professor Obeng Yeboah, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture dissenting.

The two, investigations established, held the view that it was wrong for Professor Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu to chair the board's meetings because her husband is also a member of the University Council, by virtue of his position as the Chairman of the University's alumni and as such saw her position as one bedeviled with clear case of conflict of interest.

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