As the impasse over the legality of the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba cripples academic work and leaves students stranded, a past wicked indulgence by the Pro-Vice Chancellor has come up, adding more context to the impasse.
Rev. Prof. Anthony Afful Broni, who deputized for Vice Chancellor, Professor Mawutor Avokeh, until a High Court in Winneba asked Prof. Avokeh to step aside, took a whopping $24,000 as per diem for a trip to China in 2016.
A December 13, 2016 payment voucher that The Republic has seen shows that Rev. Prof. Broni received a total of $24,412.00 for the trip to China, with the UEW’s accountant, Shadrach Nkatia, approving.
The Ghana cedi equivalent of $24,412 is GH₵104, 014 – some one billion, and forty million plus old cedis.
Emergence of the voucher appears a fallout from internal probe that the UEW is conducting into the administration of the university.
Questions have since emerged as to why that humongous amount of money was paid the Pro-Vice Chancellor over just one trip to China.
In a country where concerns have been raised about a per diem of $5,000 that the President allegedly takes on his trips, $24,000 per trip is a shot through the roof.
If in just one trip, Rev. Prof. Afful Broni, a man of the cloth, took some 1billion old cedis as per diem, then it is wondered how much he has bagged from per diems since his elevation to Pro-Vice Chancellorship in 2014.
Interestingly, an ongoing impasse that has crippled lectures at the UEW has been linked to Rev. Prof. Afful Broni, who is suspected of being in on a plot by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to remove the Vice Chancellor.
In July, this year, a High Court in Winneba ordered that the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mawutor Avokeh, should step aside over claims that the UEW Council had outlived its mandate.
In the case, Supi Kwayera, the plaintiff, was represented by the NPP’s MP for Efutu, Alexander Afenyo Markins.
Prof. Anthony Afful Broni is suspected of being allied to the plaintiff and the NPP lawyer, even as he has become Acting Vice Chancellor, following Prof. Avorkeh and the Board stepping aside on the order of the court.
Sources allege that in a backstabbing role, Prof. Afful Broni, who had been retained as Pro-VC in 2016, after a first election in 2014, had fed Afenyo Markins and his cause to have Prof. Mawutor out, with insider information to help them with their case.
In a 23rd May 2017 writ issued, the plaintiff [Supi Kwayera] adduced that the university’s council’s mandate had expired in November 2013, but the Education Ministry failed to constitute a new Governing Council for the university, and rather allowed and permitted the defunct Governing Council, which had no mandate whatsoever to continue the functions of a properly constituted Governing Council as if same had been properly constituted.
This, Mr. Kwayera insisted, was unlawful hence his legal action against the University of Education, Winneba.
However, before the substantive claims were looked into, the university, through its counsel, had applied to the court to dismiss the suit on three counts, but the application had been dismissed.
The university’s branch of the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG), as a respondent, subsequently applied to join the application.
In June, this year, the plaintiff prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction, restraining the university from authorizing any payment to any contractor or supplier whose contract is the subject matter to the case against the Council.
Again, the injunction was to restrain the recognition of any supposed Principal Officer or any person whose mandate as an officer of the UEW emanated from the defunct Governing Council as the lawful representative(s) of the UEW until the final determination of the substantive application.
The injunction also sought to restrain the UEW and its lawful representatives from making any payment to the Ghana Highway Authority or any third party entity, including Larmas Construction (GH) Ltd in respect of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Highway Authority for road maintenance until the final determination of the substantive application.
In July, this year, the High Court in Winneba ordered Professor Mawutor Avokeh to step aside until a case brought against the University Council is determined. The decision automatically put Prof. Afful Broni in acting position.
The court order had also affected the school’s Finance Officer, who has since stepped aside.
The orders had been part of reliefs granted for the interlocutory injunction sought by, Supi Kofi Kwayera and Hon. Afenyo Markins
The court had also issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Ministry of Education to reconstitute the governing council of the UEW.
However, following the court’s decision, the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) had called a nationwide strike of university teachers to protest the decision as an encroachment on academic freedom. UEW lecturers had been the first to respond positively to UTAG’s call, leaving academic work crippled.
Amid the impasse, it had emerged that Alexander Afenyo Markins, the lawyer for Supi, had secretly proposed an amicable solution to the impasse to the lawyers of the UEW and UTAG, demanding that, as part of the solution, Prof. Mawutor should be removed as Vice Chancellor.
As expected, Afenyo Markins, who sometime ago denied demanding bribe from the Agricultural Development Bank, over attempts by the bank to list on the Stock Exchange, even though he had been caught on tape making the demand, came out to deny the revelation.
Yesterday, media reports suggested that UTAG had called off the strike. It is in the wake of a seeming settle of dust that it has emerged that the Pro-Vice Chancellor received a whopping $24,000 on a trip to China.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels