Tensions were high at the campus of the University of Education Winneba on Tuesday following a press conference former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Mawutor Avoke intended to organize on campus.
But the police prevented Prof. Avoke and his team from going ahead with the press conference.
“…We are relocating, we cannot go on with a full press conference due to the exigencies right now. We will go and deliver our press conference somewhere else,” he told the media on Tuesday.
A Principal of the Colleges of Languages at UEW, Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh, who was recently reinstated after he was dismissed, accompanied Avoke’s team on campus.
He explained to the press that “The police are asking us to relocate; not that we are not going to have the press conference. Just that they don’t want us to have it on campus. So we want to plead with you to move with us outside. We will have another venue to hold the press conference. We are not in here to have any fight with anybody. We only want Ghanaians to know what the truth is,” Avea Nsoh added.
But Citi News’ Central Regional Correspondent, Calvis Tetteh reported that, although Avoke and his team earlier heeded to the advice by the police, they later returned on campus.
He said Avoke’s team insisted that they would hold the press conference at the UEW campus.
Earlier on Tuesday, a senior staff of UEW, Kingsley Amoakwah sued UEW and its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Afful-Broni.
Kingsley Amoakwah, an accountant by profession and Chairman of the Senior Staff Association Union went to court to seek an order restraining Afful-Broni from “holding himself out as the Vice-Chancellor or performing any such functions in that capacity at UEW.”
He is also seeking an order “restraining Afful-Broni from continuously interfering in the administration of Professor Mawutor Avoke, the legitimate Vice-Chancellor of UEW.”
Kingsley Amoakwah, also in his writ filed before a Winneba High Court and sighted by citinewsroom.com, asked the court to stop “Afful-Broni, his assigns, agents, or any person through him from walking or driving within the precincts of the main administration block of UEW where Professor Mawutor Avoke’s office is located.”
“An order directing the Winneba District Police Commander to provide adequate police protection to enable Professor Avoke to perform his duties as Vice-Chancellor without any fear of attack from hoodlums and thugs who may threaten his life. An order directing the Winneba District Police Commander and the Municipal Chief Executive for Effutu Municipal Assembly to collaborate and ensure a peaceful environment on all campuses of UEW in Winneba.”
The Governing Council subsequently dismissed Avoke and replaced him with Prof. Afful-Broni.
Lawyers for Prof. Avoke, in November 2018, wrote a letter to the school’s Governing Council directing it to prepare the office of their client to enable him to resume following his supposed exoneration by the Supreme Court.
The lawyers also wanted the same accord to be extended to former Finance Officer of the University, Dr. Theophilus Senyo Ackorlie.
But the request was shot down.
The governing council, however, threw its support behind Prof. Afful-Broni despite accusations of victimization, injustice and other actions said to have brought the image of the university into disrepute.
‘I’m ready to work with you, put your bias aside’ – Avoke to UEW VC, others
Prof. Mawutor Avoke later at a press conference in April 2019 demanded an immediate reinstatement.
He also wanted the feuding factions at the school to unite and resolve their differences in the interest of the university.
He said he was ready to work together with the current VC, Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni and the Chairman of the University’s Governing Council, Prof. Emmanuel Abekah but first, they should rise above their parochial interest to enable them work for the good of the institution.
“I have demonstrated that I am able to work with every category of people. I appointed Afful Broni as a pro-vice chancellor in spite of what has happened. I have worked with Prof. Abeka before. The question is whether they are willing to work with me. I have demonstrated that I am a consensus builder and I have the unlimited capacity to bounce and work with any category of people.”
“It is not about me, it is about the corporate social agenda of the University. I have indicated that the University is bigger than any of us and therefore we must put our prejudices and biases outside and come together as a group and put the university forward”, he added.
Prof. Avoke won’t be reinstated
The Management of the University Of Education Winneba (UEW) subsequently indicated that Prof. Mawutor Avoke will not be reinstated.
According to the University, although an Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) report exonerated him, the decision for his dismissal was determined by the institution’s Governing Council.
In an interview with Citi News, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of UEW, Ernest Azutiga welcomed Prof Avoke’s call to work with all and sundry for peace to prevail in the university but shot down his reinstatement request.
“On his call to work with everyone to bring peace to the institution, I think it is in the right direction because that is what management and Council are working towards; bringing peace and reconciliation into the institution. He also asked that he should be reinstated, but the question will be what will be the basis for the reinstatement. What I gather from his presser is that he has been exonerated by EOCO.”
“There was a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the Winneba High Court ruling on him. The situation is that in that very Supreme Court ruling the judges made it clear that the decision to dismiss him was not based on EOCO reports. In fact, UEW had not made any formal complaints to EOCO. Based on the arguments he is making it will be impossible to reinstate him,” the PRO added.