The Winneba High Court this Monday morning 18th November, 2019 has thrown out an injunction and certiorari application filed by Dr Kaakyire Duku Frimpong against the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) challenging the powers of the Vice Chancellor to nominate three Professors to contest the Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s election.
The election which was to take place on June 13, 2019 had to be postponed due to the application before the court.
Reading the ruling before a packed court, Her Ladyship Justice Janapare Bartels Kodwo observed that the University is not an adjudicating body or quasi-judicial body to be govern by the prerogative writs. This is particularly so when article 12 of 1992 constitution is clear in its tenets of pitching the prerogative writ only against judicial or quasi – judicial bodies. It must also be noted that order 55 of CI 47 only states the procedure by which one can come to court. Therefore, when one’s grievances do not fall under article 12, same can not be cured by under 55 of CI 47.
The laws of Ghana give special attention to administrative decisions especially regarding public institutions and it is for this reason that order 55 of CI 47 makes provision for the use of administrative orders such as certiorari, mandamus, quo-warranto, habeas corpus, Prohibito and injuncto.
The applicant went to court to mount this action as an interested party of the University to invoke only two writs that is, certiorari and injuncto.
The applicant’s position was that the decision of Management of the University permitting the Vice-Chancellor to nominate candidates for Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s election was against the UEW statues 2007. Same is not categorically stated in the statues therefore he was seeking certiorari to quash the administrative decision and injunction to stop the practice.
The respondent UEW argued that what the applicant went to court complaining of is a custom in the University right from its inception which has crystallise in the usage, practice and a convention. Although it is not categorically stated in the statues of the University, it has force of law because it has become a convention.
Under article 11 of 1992 Constitution customs and convention are part of laws of Ghana.
The Respondents institution also argued in their submission that the position of the Applicant that nomination of persons to Pro-Vice-Chancellor is not limited to only Professors is flawed because the same UEW statues mentioned that in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor it is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor who acts.
However, the law states categorically clear that only a Professor qualifies for the Vice-Chancellor. If the Pro-Vice-Chancellor is not a Professor how can he step into the shoes of the office of the Vice-Chanellor,
Counsel for the respondent University, Paa Kwesi Abaidoo, advanced.
He prayed the court to award a cost of GHC 30,000 against the applicant but the court rather awarded 5,000 against the applicant.
Counsel for applicant Alex Afenyo Markin was mysterious missing in court raising concerns about his continuous absence in court whenever a ruling is to be delivered.
It would be recalled that the Cape Coast High Court 2
at its sitting on 11th November, 2019, that dismissed the application challenging the appointment of the current Vice-Chancellor and seeking the reinstatement of the former, Prof Mawutor Avoke had Alex Afenyo Markin whose application was touted to be the trump card for the ruling conspicuously missing on the day.