Two senior lecturers of the University of Ghana recently suspended for misconduct following from a BBC documentary in 2019 consider their punishment “quite harsh”.
Professor Ransford Yaw Gyampo and Dr Paul Butakor were slapped with a six-month and four-month suspensions respectively for being captured in the documentary dubbed ‘Sex for Grades: Undercover in West African universities’.
While Prof Gyampo was found guilty for misconducting himself, Dr Butakor was said to have attempted wooing an investigative reporter who posed as someone seeking to do national service at his department.
But in a response issued by their lawyers, F-X Law and Associates, the two lecturers said though they accept the decision, the statement by the University of Ghana communicating it “creates a lot of doubts in the minds of people”.
They claimed that the lecturers “were not found guilty of Sexual Misconduct or Sex for grades as was initially alleged by BBC”.
“It is disappointing that the BBC showed gross disrespect to our Clients and the University by refusing to make themselves available to be cross-examined in the whole process thereby undermining the integrity of the entire administrative proceedings,” the response issued by lead counsel Francis-Xavier Sosu said.
“It is also unfortunate, that the University’s release did not make it clear that the allegations of BBC were false and had no basis.”
The punishment by the University of Ghana – which is to take retrospective effect from January 1, 2020 – also recommended appropriate training on the premier university’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy as well as the Code of Conduct for Academic Staff.
This did not go down well with the two lecturers.
According to them, since they were not found guilty of any sexual misconduct, they “find it strange that they are required to be subjected not only to training but also to an annual assessment for 5 years in this regard”.
“It is for this reason that we find the decision to be a little too harsh and the university’s communiqué as misleading.”
They, however, gave word of accepting and respecting the decision and would not pursue it any further in court.
“Our Clients remain assets to the University and desire to put this matter behind them in the collective interest of the entire University Community.
“Indeed, they have learnt useful lessons that will guide their future conducts in the university.”