The Accra High Court (Commercial Court 2) yesterday joined 161 students of the Commonwealth hall of the University of Ghana to a suit challenging the decision of the university to revoke the residential status of continuing students of the Commonwealth and Mensah Sarbah halls.
Justice Francis Obiri, the presiding judge, granted the application filed by the 161 students and asked the students (plaintiffs) to serve a copy of the amended writ on the University of Ghana (defendant). This brings the number of plaintiffs to 169.
On January 6, eight aggrieved students sued the university and obtained an interim injunction against the implementation of the policy to revoke the residential status of continuing students.
Justice Obiri asked the plaintiffs to take steps to amend the writ to reflect the joinder on or before January 26.
He also granted leave to the University of Ghana to file its supplementary affidavit on January 27.
The case has been adjourned to January 30 for the defendant’s motion filed on January 12, in which the defendant is praying the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit to be heard.
On January 6, the Accra High Court ordered the management of the University of Ghana (UG) to refrain from revoking the residential status of continuing students of the Commonwealth and Mensah Sarbah halls.
The university’s administration had issued an order intending to remove all continuing male students from the halls due to a violent altercation that had taken place between the two halls on
August 15, 2022.
According to UG’s management, it had chosen to implement the directive as a disciplinary step after clashes between some students from the two halls, which resulted in the destruction of the statue of John Mensah Sarbah’s located at the Mensah Sarbah hall.
Per the administration’s announcement to the members of the university, starting from the 2022/2023 academic year, “Level 100 and graduate students (Masters and PhD level) will be assigned to Mensah Sarbah and Commonwealth Halls.”
The directive said “All continuing students of Commonwealth hall and continuing male students of Mensah Sarbah hall will not return to these halls, or to any of the traditional halls. They are to be randomly assigned to available rooms in any of the UGEL and private hostel”.
But in accordance with the court’s judgment from January 6, the current residential arrangement of students must be maintained as it was before UG’s directive on October 26, 2022.
“It is hereby ordered that the defendant herein is hereby restrained either by itself or its officers, assigns, privies, agents, workmen or anybody working under the defendant’s instructions from going ahead to implement the decision of the defendant, dated October 26, 2022, in respect of the residential policy decision affecting continuing students of Commonwealth Hall, University of Ghana,” according to the court.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA