A Cape Coast High Court has thrown out a criminal contempt application filed against the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), the Chairman of the Governing Council, the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the University.
The case was filed by Dr. Kaakyire Duku, Prof Mawutor Avoke, Dr. Theophilus Ackorlie, Mr. Frank Owusu-Boateng, Ms. Mary Dzimey, and Ing. Daniel Tetteh.
Her Ladyship, Mrs. Mills Tetteh in giving her ruling, held that the respondents did not do anything to warrant the contempt of prison application filed by the applicants.
She added that whatever actions or decisions that had been taken by the officers were within the remit of their mandate given by the Governing Council of the University.
Her Ladyship also cited the Supreme Court ruling delivered on the 22nd of December, 2017 filed against UEW by Prof Mawutor Avoke and his colleagues.
The ruling held that since the case was about the governance of the University, for the avoidance of doubt , did not affect whatever the newly constituted Council had done.
She further held that the actions of the Officers were authorised by the Governing Council of the University who also exercised their powers within the remit of the law.
She argued that in a criminal contempt case, the applicants should have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the respondents did not have the mandate to exercise the powers so disputed or should be able to demonstrate amply that, in exercising the powers given them, they exceeded their remit.
However, in the case before her, there was no such evidence.
She further held that the process filed in court did not bar the respondents from taking any decisions or actions which warranted criminal contempt because the court did not make any definite pronouncement on the matter.
It would be recalled that Dr. Kaakyire Duku, Prof Mawutor Avoke and four others filed an application at a Cape Coast High Court in February 2018, against the University of Education, Winneba challenging among others the dismissal of five officers and demanding their reinstatement, the appointment of the then Ag. Vice-Chancellor and his nomination of three Professors for Pro-Vice Chancellor election, and the holding of April, 2018 Congregation ceremonies.
On 22nd November, 2018 the same court granted an application for misjoinder filed by the 2nd to 4th respondents on the grounds that the University is a legal entity which can sue and be sued.
The court has further slated March 22 and April 12, 2019, for the motion of judicial notice on Dr Samuel Ofori Bekoe’s dismissal and reinstatement, and Dr Kaakyire Duku challenging the dismissal and seeking reinstatement of Prof. Mawutor Avoke and 4 other officers formerly of the University respectively.
The court ordered Counsel for applicants to amend the title of the suit since some of the parties had been non-suited.