The Speaker of Senate for the Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana, Legon (GRASAG-Legon), Right honourable Nicodemus Dery has explained circumstances that led an officer other than the Chairperson of the Judicial Committee to direct the taking of the executive oath of office.
According to him, the Chairperson of the Judicial Committee (JC) of the group, Gideon Tettey Tetteh ‘demanded’ the payment of an end of service recognition, honorarium as a prerequisite for administering the oath to elected GRASAG-Legon executives.
The Speaker noted the JC Chairperson averred to the fact that all graduate students need to be present at the handing over ceremony before swearing in the executives can take place.
“Following the notice of the last virtual Senate meeting, the Judicial Committee Chairperson reached out to me demanding that unless his Honorarium is paid to him ahead of the scheduled meeting he is not ready to discharge his constitutional responsibility. I indicated forcefully with good reason that, until Senate is dissolved, no Senator can receive an honorarium, ” The Speaker said.
His comments come at the backdrop of Mr Tetteh’s call for the rejection of the validity of a swearing in ceremony for elected executives.
The Judicial Committee chairperson is said to have raised no objection when the order paper was tabled for inputs and adoption and as a result, it was adopted for the purpose of the last sitting.
However, the Chairperson declined to swear in the executives upon the Speaker’s request and asked for the dissolution of Senate whilst another date is scheduled to comply with Article 27 and 29 of the GRASAG-Legon Constitution.
Firstly, article 27 of the GRASAG-Legon constitution discusses Honorarium, saying that ” (1) Certificates of Honour or awards shall be presented to members of the Executive Council, members of the Senate and members of Committees/Commissions of GRASAG – LEGON upon successful completion of their tenure of office at a handing over ceremony at a public gathering of all graduate students.”
Clause (2) of the article mandates the Senate to decide on the emoluments to be given to deserving members of the Executive Council.
Secondly, article 29 of the GRASAG-Legon constitution addresses Handing-over, stipulating that (1) the outgoing members of the Executive Council shall hand over to the incoming officers at a gathering of all graduate students.
The Speaker believes Gideon Tettey Tetteh refused to administer the oath of office for two reasons including the payment of the honorarium and that the number of graduate students present at the Google Classroom meeting does not satisfy Article 29 of the constitution.
“The JC Chairperson added that, even if the numbers in the house were up to hundred, he would have considered administering the oath. Isn’t that a display of double standards and bad faith, is 100 same as all graduate students?,” The speaker quizzed.
Following the removal of the Chair of the Judicial Committee chair from the online meeting, the deputy Chairperson of the Judicial Committee, Lukman Imoro was called on to swear in the newly elected executives.
Responding to the explanation of the Speaker, Gideon Tettey Tetteh admitted that he demanded the payment of the honorarium prior to the handing over ceremony but adhering to the provisions in article 29 were at the core of the refusal to administer the oath of office.
“I requested for the payment of the honorarium because of past experiences and transparency. The cause of the discussion was Article 29. Article 29 was not complied with,” Gideon Tettey Tetteh said.
The JC Chairperson further alleged that the Speaker was promised “juicy offers” if the handing over comes off on November 26, 2021.
I don’t have time engaging him. He is only trying to court my attention. He is not worth my attention,” Right Honorable Nicodemus Dery retorted in relation to Gideon Tettey Tetteh’s claims