The High Court in Kumasi has shot down a motion by students and alumni of two all-male halls of KNUST seeking to restrain the University authorities from converting University and Unity halls into mixed halls.
The court presided over by Justice Samuel Obeng Diawuo in dismissing the injunction application Friday took the view that the University management had already issued students with letters assigning the halls to them before the application was filed.
Though counsel for the students and alumni of the halls, Stephen Asante Bekoe, disagreed with the claim arguing that their application was filed before the students were assigned the halls, the court went ahead to dismiss the injunction application.
“That is not correct! When we filed the writ, even the results had not been published let alone admitting the females and then assigning them to halls so that one is wrong” Mr Bekoe told our correspondent Ibrahim Abubakar after the court hearing.
The students and their old boys in July this year filed a suit at the court to challenge the decision of the management of KNUST to convert the all-male Katanga and Unity halls into mixed halls.
Authorities of the University have argued the conversion would increase female enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education while increasing the female population at the same time.
Notwithstanding today’s setback, the lawyer said the court has assured the plaintiff that should they succeed in their substantive case challenging the conversion of the all-male halls to a mixed one, the female students who will be in those two halls will be dislodged.
This, he told our correspondent that doesn’t see how that will work out, but has still urged the students to remain calm as they explore all the legal options available.
“I’m just advising them to keep calm and let the law work.The substantive matter is still before the court and the judge said after the full trial if it turns out that the plaintiffs are right, the females will have to be dislodged again,” Mr. Bekoe said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bekoe has served notice they would Supreme Court to seek proper interpretation Article 17 of the 1992 constitution.
“I intend to go to the Supreme Court because i would want the Supreme Court to interpret some provisions in the constitutions for us vis-a-vis what is happening in the university. Yes, we want more girls but whether
that can be used as a point of discrimination against the males. Do we have to dislodge males because we want females to go to school,” he quipped.
In their substantive suit, the plaintiffs are asking the court to stop the university from “attempting to alter the character and nature of Unity Hall from an all-male hall to a mixed-sex hall.”