Education Minister backs Prof Afful-Broni as legitimate UEW VC

The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has backed current Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Rev. Professor Anthony Afful-Broni as the legitimate head of the University.

Describing an attempt by University’s former VC, Professor Mawutor Avoke, to reclaim his position on Tuesday as “lawlessness”, he said the ministry was not going “to accept such things” and called on the police to charge the trespassers.

Addressing a wide range of issues in the sector at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra yesterday, he called on all grieving parties to seek legal redress rather than actions that could generate confusion and insecurity at the University

“I can say without hesitation that there is only one Vice-Chancellor in UEW. If this country wants to go that way, somebody can run from somewhere and come and sit at Jubilee House very soon and say: ‘I’m the president’. There’s only one legal legitimate Vice-Chancellor and it is Rev. Prof. Afful-Broni. “Anybody who doesn’t understand must go through the legal process,” Mr Prempeh stated.

“We are not going to accept such things. I’m rather surprised the police have not charged the trespassers because even if you are the VC, somebody must ensure that you’re there. You can’t run to a school and go and sit in a chair and say you’re a VC. You can challenge the process, you can go to court and even if you win, it has to be executed and it’s all through legal means, we’re not in a lawless state,” Dr Prempeh said.

Echoing the minister’s sentiments in an interview, Ernest Azutiga, Public Relations Officer of UEW, said, only the UEW Governing Council has the power to reinstate Prof. Avoke.

Although an Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) report had exonerated him of the allegations against him, he explained that the decision for his dismissal was determined by the Governing Council and not the report.

“There was a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the Winneba High Court ruling on him. In that very Supreme Court ruling, the judges made it clear that the decision to dismiss him was not based on the EOCO reports. Apart from that, the Governing Council did not make any formal complaints to EOCO. On the basis of this, he cannot be reinstated,” he stated.

Mr Azutiga, however, lauded the former VC for advocating peace and reconciliation to advance and realise the objectives of the University.

 “I think he made an important call in his address which is the call for unity. It is in the right direction and exactly what the current management and Council are working towards. This situation cannot continue.”

On Tuesday, Professor Mawutor Avoke and five other dismissed staff of the UEW stormed the Winneba campus of the University to reclaim their positions, resulting in some confusion.

Speaking at a press conference, which was monitored by Ghanaian Times in the council chamber of the university, Prof. Avoke said, his decision followed his clearance by EOCO after he was indicted for abusing his office.

“EOCO, after a thorough probe, concluded in black and white that we did not abuse our office or were involved in any procurement breaches. We are back to take over our respective offices and right place in the school,” he said.


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