Monday, 24th October 2016 saw the climax of the case involving Daniel Bekoe vs the SRC President and the legal advisor, as the judicial board of the SRC delivered it’s judgement on the matter.
Sitting began in the SRC court about 8:00pm with plaintiff(Daniel Bekoe) appearing with a co-counsel and counsel Nana Boakye Mensah appearing on behalf of defendants(the SRC President and the legal advisor).
Lead Judge, Justice Asiedu then explained that the judgements were arrived at after considering two salient issues, 1. Whether or not the President breached article 28/1 (b) of the SRC constitution and 2. whether or not Hon. Derrick Abotsi should be reinstated.
Justice Andor then proceeded to read his judgement. After stating a sizable number of precedents, he concluded that, in his view there was no emergency as stated by H.E. the President and that per article 17/3 of the SRC constitution the vice president could have chaired a meeting to the effect of ousting Hon. Abotsi and also that, she did willingly breach article 28/1 (b) of the SRC constitution which permits a Chairperson of a committee to be removed from office by simple majority votes of the executive committee, and so the act by the president is null and void and a reinstatement of Derrick Abotsi is in place.
Justice Turkson in his judgement believed that, there was indeed an emergency as suggested by the President and the dismissal of Hon. Abotsi was right. He however raised concern about the constitutionality of the process used to oust him. He also believes the act was just to punish him and not curb the situation(ending the distress of the students who went to represent the university in the NUGS elections). He then stated there is no lacuna in the construction as to how a Chairperson of a committee should be removed and so the act is unconstitutional.
Justice Ashiele in her judgement believes the emergency argument of defendants is a weak one and that there was nothing preventing due process. She however highlighted on the disdainful behaviour of Hon. Abotsi and stated since the party he decided to support, contrary to the interest of the university and the SRC won, he would soon be given a post at NUGS as promised and therefore a reinstatement is not necessary.
Justice Bonsu stated that, the SRC President acted unconstitutionally and the emergency point stressed on by defendants does not tally with his convictions. But Hon. Abotsi should not be reinstated.
Presiding judge, Justice Asiedu crowned it all with his judgement and stated that, due process was not followed as clearly spelt out in the SRC constitution. He however believes the insolent behaviour of Hon. Derrick Abotsi is unacceptable and should not be reinstated.
He(Justice Asiedu) later clarified the meaning of all judgements read. According to him, with a five (5) to zero (0) absolute majority, first and second relieves(that an order be issued that the President has no power to dismiss a committee head and that the act be declared null and void and of no effect whatsoever) being sought by the plaintiff are granted. With a three (3) to (2) majority however, third and fourth relieves(that order be issued for reinstatement of Hon. Derrick Abotsi as head of external affairs committee and thus local NUGS President and that a perpetual injunction be placed on Her Excellency from such acts) were thrown out.
Both counsels congratulated the panel for the judgement although plaintiff ( Daniel Bekoe) held the view that the overall judgement was unanimous to the suit.
For ugfile.com this is Oswald K Azumah reporting.