THE Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has re-admitted two law students who were dismissed in October 2007 for alleged examination malpractice.
This followed the ruling by a Kumasi High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Imoru Ziblim, on March 5, 2008 which quashed the dismissal of Mr Alfred Obeng Boateng and Mr Ato Kwamena Sam Ghartey, both part-time law students of the university.
With the decision by the university authorities to abide by the court’s ruling, the two students have joined their colleagues in the third year at the Law Faculty.
Mr Boateng, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Approachers (Ghana) Limited, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that their re-admission was a victory for the rule of law prevailing in the country.
He said some lecturers allegedly fabricated the allegation that they cheated in the examination in order to paint them in bad light before the public.
According to a certified true copy of the court’s ruling, the dismissal of the students had no legal basis, was irrational and unreasonable.
By two separate letters dated November 22, 2007, the university declared the two students dismissed after constituting a committee to investigate the alleged malpractice.
Counsel for the students, Mr Akwasi Afrifa, argued that he and his clients had to boycott the sittings of the committee after the authorities had rejected their objection to the composition of the panel.
In their statement of case, the university authorities admitted that the committee continued to sit, even though the two students and their counsel boycotted its sittings.
On October 31, 2007, the committee submitted its report to the Dean of the Faculty of Law, who forwarded it to the vice-chancellor through the Provost of the College of Art and Social Sciences.
The university authorities further stated that the conduct of the two students was scandalous and disgraceful and the university, therefore, considered them unfit to continue to be in the institution.
However, Mr Justice Ziblim, in his ruling, described the words coming from the university as harsh, especially weighed against the fact that the decision to dismiss the students was made in contravention of the rules of natural justice.
He said the conduct of the committee prevented the two students from giving evidence, while no witnesses were called during the committee’s sittings.
“Certiorari will lie to quash any proceedings or decision which has not allowed a party to give evidence by calling witnesses,” Justice Ziblim explained.