Four elected executives in the 2021 University of Ghana Students’ Representative Council (UGSRC) elections have jointly petitioned the acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Students Affairs (ASA) to direct the dean of students to abide by the SRC constitution.
These executives include president-elect, Prince Asumadu; vice-president-elect, Wisdom Ndukwe; general secretary-elect, Stephanie Naadu Antwi and treasurer-elect, Daniel Obeng Asamoah.
According to them, the Dean of students affairs, Prof. Godfred Alufa Bokpin is illegally interfering in post-electoral matters.
This comes at the backdrop of the formation of a seven-member committee by Dean Prof. Bokpin to review election petitions brought before him by some aggrieved students.
“The Judicial Board is the stipulated and legal body to hear any election petitions, not the Dean. The decision of the Dean to set up a committee which sidesteps the University of Ghana SRC Judicial Board is therefore an illegal interference of his office in the affairs of students. The closest thing to the involvement of the Dean in an electoral dispute is his membership of the SRC appeals board, where he is the sole management official involved,” the executives noted in the petition.
Among others, Univers News sighted petitions from a group calling itself Concerned Electoral Commissioners who have petitioned the Dean demanding a probe into election results of the Mensah Sarbah polling station as the second deputy UGSRC Electoral Commissioner Boaz Asah – Baah Twumasi believes the election results from the Mensah Sarbah hall are ‘not credible due to electoral infractions at the polling station’.
A representative of the presidential candidate, Samuel Amos Ofosu at the University of Ghana Computing System (UGCS), Bernard Nana Boahen further petitioned the office of the dean of students affairs to annul the results of the online election.
He argued that an agreement of having all three electoral commissioners present at the time of the release of the online election was breached.
In the five-page document, the four elected executives insisted that all election petitions ought to be heard by the Judicial Committee of the SRC and if a party is displeased about the orders made, the case should be referred to the SRC Appeals board.
“We assert that an election petition must be heard and tolerated by the Judicial Board and in the unlikely event that it goes beyond them, the Appeals Board hears the appeals,” portion of the petition reads.
The four elected executives are asking the Pro-Vice-Chancellor ASA, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori to declare as unconstitutional the dean’s seven-member committee and their recommendations in relation to the election petition as void.
“Declare the committee formed by the Dean of Student Affairs as unconstitutional and its actions up to the point of your receivable of this petition void on basis of the fact that the petitioners did not follow the processes in the SRC Constitution to petition the outcome of the election,” They wrote in the petition.
They requested that the Pro VC “issue directives which ensure article 32(2) of the SRC Constitution is fulfilled and the executives elect duly take over as substantive officers of the SRC”.
What does the UGSRC constitution say?
The University of Ghana Students’ Representative Council (UGSRC) constitution prescribes the procedure to adopt in the event of challenging elections matters.
Article 31 clauses (1), (2) and (3) stipulate as follow:
” (1) The validity of the election of an Executive Officer may be challenged by a student of this University who may present a petition for that purpose to the Judicial Board within forty-eight hours after the declaration of the result of the position in respect of which the petition is presented,”
(2) The Judicial Board shall, without prejudice to any provision in this Constitution, decide on the validity of an election within seven days after the petition has been received by the Chairperson of the Judicial Board,
(3) The Chairperson of the Appeals Board, Chairperson of the Judicial Board, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and two members of the General Assembly nominated by the General Assembly shall, within two months after the coming into force of this Constitution, make rules for the practice and procedure for petitions to the Judicial Board challenging the election of a President or Secretary or Treasurer; which rules shall be precedent for such purposes as provided for in this article.