Supreme Court quashes judgment on UEW VC Avoke

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The Supreme Court, by a unanimous decision, has quashed the Judgment of the Winneba High Court, which removed from office the Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Prof. Mawutor Avoke.

This is the second time the Supreme Court has quashed a judgment of the Winneba High Court, that sought to remove the Vice Chancellor of UEW.

All the Supreme Court Judges who sat on the case, agreed that the Judgment of the Winneba High Court, based on which Vice Chancellor, Prof. Avoke was removed from office is wrong, stands quashed, and is therefore null and void, and of no effect.

This unanimous decision of the Supreme Court places in sharper focus the request of Prof. Raymond Atuguba, Counsel for Prof. Mawutor Avoke, made a few weeks ago, for the Governing Council of the University of Winneba to put a hold on the induction and investiture of a new Vice Chancellor and for President Akufo-Add not to attend induction and investiture of a new Vice Chancellor at a time a date had already been fixed by the Supreme Court for Judgment in the case brought by Prof. Avoke.

The Supreme Court noted that having failed to take evidence from the parties before granting a judgment in default of Defence on purely declaratory reliefs, the High Court, presided over by Justice George Atto Mills-Graves in its judgment dated 2nd May, 2018, had erred.

Background

A Winneba High Court in 2017 ordered Professor Mawutor Avoke, to step aside until a case brought against him and the University’s Governing Council is determined.

The order was made in a case brought before the court by one Supi Kofi Kwayera, who insisted that the Vice Chancellor and the Finance Officer, were operating under the institution’s defunct governing council.

The plaintiff 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, and hence his legal action against the University of Education, Winneba.

However, before the substantive claims were looked into, the University, through its lawyers, applied to the court to dismiss the suit on the three counts, but the application was dismissed.

The High Court subsequently found Professor Avoke, and the school’s Finance Officer, Dr. Theopholus Senyo Ackorlie, guilty of procurement and other financial irregularities.

The court subsequently ordered the retrieval of all monies paid to the contractors of the North Campus Roads and a forensic audit of the project.

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