The agitation over the planned conversion of the Commonwealth Hall into a mixed hall for graduates has taken a legal twist.

The Accra Fast Track High Court has granted an interim injunction application by students of the Hall, setting in motion what is expected to be a long legal battle between the University of Ghana authorities and the students.

The more than 4,000 students, represented by four of them, the President of the Junior Common Room (JCR), Joshua Laari, his Vice, Emmanuel Nketia, the treasurer, Frederick Owusu Prempeh, and the Secretary, Kofi Asante Sampong filed a writ at the court on Thursday, May 20 to restrain the university authorities from implementing the planned change in the status of the Commonwealth Hall which they described as “unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.”

Speaking to Adom News, Counsel for the students, Nana Ato Dadzie, blamed the university authorities for the turn of events, accusing them of not following due process.

“We are not against discipline but we think the authorities should not punish all students for the wrongs of a few people,” he said.
Nana Ato Dadzie, who described himself as a proud Vandal emphasized the importance of tradition to the Hall and stressed the need for the authorities to follow due process.

He said the university authorities are using the heckling of the Chancellor of the University, Kofi Annan at the University’s March 13 congregation as the basis for the execution of the plan which is not right.

The former Chief of Staff in the previous NDC administration cited prominent people like the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama who have passed through the Hall adding that this is enough for the authorities recognize that students of the Hall are not as violent as people claim.

Though the University authorities are yet to put in a defence at the court, the leadership of the Commonwealth Hall and their counsel are bent on following the case through to the very conclusion.

An executive of the hall, Larbi Yeboah reassured the Vandals that they will resist any attempt to convert the hall into a mixed hall.
He told Adom News that they believe the court will restrain the authorities from effecting their decision.

It will be recalled that student agitation begun about three ago when the University authorities announced a decision to turn the Commonwealth Hall into a mixed graduate hall but the students objected to the decision on the grounds that due process was not followed.

Story by Akosua Addae Mununkum/Adom News