The Council Chairman of the University of Education, Winneba, Nana Ofori Ansah, has been asked by the University’s governing council to withdraw all letters he’s written to reinstate former principal officers of the university.
He’s also been asked to withdraw letters that he wrote to remove the current Finance Director of the university, Francis Obeng.
Mr. Obeng, who was appointed by the Governing Council in 2019, was handed a letter signed by Prof. Mawutor Avoke, few days after the High Court judgment; asking him to cease functioning as the Finance Director of the University.
This was to make way for Dr. Theophilus Ackorlie, a former Finance Director, who had been notified through a letter by Prof. Avoke to occupy his previous position as the Finance Director.
But at an emergency meeting of the governing council and the academic board, Mr. Nana Ofori Ansah was asked not to take decisions without consulting other members of the council as that defeats the conventions and practices associated with the office he occupies.
Members of the governing council chastised him for misinterpreting the court order without recourse to the members of the university council and the management of the university.
The Governing Council Chair has thus apologized to the Governing Council and the University’s Academic Board for acting unilaterally and engaging in acts unbecoming of a governing council chair.
“He needs to be abreast of the powers and limitations associated with the office he occupies and desist from sowing seeds of confusion that will further escalate the tensions at the university,” a member of the governing council stated.
He further added that: “He ought to have known that when the court asked that the former principal officers would be reinstated to their former grade, it was not the same as being reinstated to their former positions. In the University setting, the two are completely different.”
A Winneba High Court presided over by Justice Aboagye Tandoh gave orders mandating UEW Governing Council to reinstate Prof. Avoke as Vice-Chancellor to serve his unexpired term while five others were to be reinstated to their former grade.
Following the court order, a string of decisions has been taken by the Council Chairman, Nana Ofori Ansah, which members of the council say is capable of further escalating the already volatile situations at UEW.
The Council Chairman has come under a barrage of criticisms after he wrote a letter on a fake letter head of the University’s Registrar to reinstate Prof. Mawutor Avoke, without the concurrence of the members of the University Council.
Already, some Council members had indicated that majority of them had decided to appeal the judgment of the court by first applying for a stay of execution while the appeal goes on.
The Governing Council at a meeting then agreed to direct the external solicitor to meet the Attorney-General (A-G) for the A-G to advise the UEW since the University had about six (6) days before the execution of the order.
But on the 6th of February, 2022, the Council Chairman invited the University Management to a meeting at UEW with some Council members to discuss the roadmap for the implementation of the court order.
The Council Chairman, without the knowledge of members of the council, attended another meeting with Prof. Avoke and the 5 others at the Council Chamber apparently to execute the Court order.
According to the council members, this was done at their blind side.
Again, the Council Chairman organized a press briefing to introduce Prof. Avoke to the media as the VC for UEW. This event was attended by the outgoing acting VC and Prof. Avoke.
On the 7th of February, 2022, a reinstatement letter for Prof. Avoke, purportedly written and signed by the Council Chairman on the letterhead of the University Registrar was seen on social media even before the meeting with Management.
This, sources say, marked the beginning of the Council Chairman’s unilateral decisions and one-man-show. The Council members are thus angry over the said letter which was written without their approval and input.
More importantly, the said letter is dated 4th February, 2022, which is the morning after the February 3 meeting by Council members where no conclusion was reached on whether to appeal the court’s ruling or not.
Also, some social media activists, IT experts, lecturers and students who began to question the authenticity of the said letter have described it as fake.
However, on the same 7th February, 2022, an unsigned letter from Prof. Avoke was sighted on social media, purporting to appoint Mr. Theophilus Ackorlie as the Finance Officer.