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19.10.2005 General News

Othere-Darko duly passed - Ansa-Asare

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Accra, Oct. 19, GNA - Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), on Wednesday said it was not true that Mr Gabby Asare Othcere-Darko, Editor-in-Chief of the Statesman, failed his exams as a student at the Ghana School of Law but was passed.

He said it was not true, as alleged by Mr John Opoku, a former Deputy Registrar of the School, that Otchere-Darko failed in two subjects but was wrongfully passed instead of being made to repeat. Mr Ansa-Asare said this when he appeared before the five-member committee investigating allegations of corruption and abuse of office against him.

He said as soon as the examination results were published, Mr Otchere-Darko applied to retake the paper on Law on Taxation, which was one of the two papers and petitioned against the grade on Family Law. Mr Ansa-Asare said that the petitions were directed to the General Legal Council through him (Ansa-Asare).

He said when Professor A.K.P. Kludze, an external assessor and retired Supreme Court Judge was given Mr Otchere-Darko's paper on Family Law for remarking, he made a written report which stated that Mr Atchere-Darko performed so well that the least he should have been awarded him was 69 per cent or B+ instead of a mark that indicated failure.

He said the Board of Legal Education of the GSL in consultation with the General Legal Council (GLC) upon investigation, decided that Dr Kofi Adinkra, the internal examiner who failed Mr Otchere-Darko, be queried concerning the paper, adding that the case was still pending. Mr Ansa-Asare said Mr Otchere-Darko also re-wrote the examination on the Law of Taxation in December and passed. He was therefore called to the Bar in February the following year.

Mr Ansa-Asare said Mr Otchere-Darko therefore passed the Professional Part Two Exams on his own merit with the full endorsement of the Board of Legal Education and the GLC.

The GSL Director said the allegation that Mr Otchere-Darko failed but was cleared on his orders was a "malicious and wicked falsehood and I and Gabby deserve an unqualified apology".

Touching on the allegation of Mr Chris Ackumey, who had told the committee that he was wrongfully dismissed by the GSL Director as an Assistant Lecturer, Mr Ansa-Asare said Mr Ackumey was never employed by the Ghana School of Law in any capacity.

He said it came to his notice that Mr Ackumey was assisting Ms Margaret Insaidoo, who was a Lecturer at the GSL and appeared to be parading as a lecturer of the school.

Mr Ansa-Asare said he then instructed Mr Ackumey to stop coming to the GSL to "parade" as a lecturer, since he had no appointment as a lecturer or in any other capacity. He said Mr Ackumay was rather an employee of the Internal Revenue Service.

Mr Ansa-Asare said it was a "malicious and wicked lie" for anyone to have said that he dismissed Ms Insaidoo from the GSL.

He said in his capacity as Director of the GSL, he recommended Ms Insaidoo as part of the process leading to her appointment as a justice of the High Court, adding that her departure from the GSL was therefore not a dismissal but an elevation.

"I therefore deny ever victimising Chris Ackumey or Ms Insaidoo. If Ackumey ever gave the impression that he was a staff of the GSL, he lied."

The GSL Director observed that it was most unfortunate that in Africa and Ghana in particular, people rather disliked those who stood for the truth.

Mr Ansa-Asare said it was his belief that he was the most innovative Director the GSL had ever produced and that none of his predecessors surpassed him in his achievements.

"My high sense of discipline is what has made people misread me," he said.

Mr Ansa-Asare said there was a time when he was donating a huge sum of his monthly salary for the support of the junior staff of the GSL when the school was cash strapped.

He noted that it was only a handful of staff that was doing all they could to create the impression that he was a bad administrator. Mr Ansa-Asare said he had chalked remarkable achievements such as successfully sourcing for 50 billion cedis for the expansion of the GSL. "My vision is to make the School of Law a leading professional institution in Africa."

Touching on the allegations being made against him as well as the setting up of the committee, he said, "This whole thing is to remove me and replace me with a friend of Ayikoi Otoo (Attorney-General and Minister of Justice)."

Mr Ansa-Asare said he believed that Mr Ayikoi Otoo was using the committee as a platform to remove him from the GSL as the Director. "Ayikoi Otoo can remove me in a more decent manner than this," he added. He requested the Committee to recommend that definite structures and rules be put in place at the GSL to spell out issues such as the retirement age to prevent the kind of confusion that was happening.

The GSL director said he was not disturbed with what was happening to him because he knew that if he was to give an account of his tenure as Director of the GSL he would certainly come out clean.

"I will be happy to be used as a sacrificial lamb for the betterment of the Ghana School of Law," he said. Hearing continues on Thursday.

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