Court restrains Pentecost University, NAB over students withdrawal

law-and-justiceThe Accra Fast Track High Court (Human Rights Division) has restrained the Pentecost University College (PUC) and the National Accreditation Board (NAB) from withdrawing 10 students from the college at Sowutuom in Accra.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Paul Dery, on Thursday, December 20, 2012, also gave further orders that until the final determination of the matter, special classes should be organised for the affected students to enable them to catch up on the just-concluded first semester.

Also joined in the suit are the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Education.

Mr Gary Nimako Marfo and  Mr Papa Kow Acquaye represented the students, while Mr J.H. Nii Larkai represented the PUC.

Ms Nancy Twumasi-Mensah held brief for Ms Grace Ewool, a Senior State Attorney, who represented the Attorney-General, the NAB and the Ministry of Education.

Moving the motion for interlocutory injunction, Mr Marfo of Puozing and Associates said relying on the school’s brochure and subsequent publications, the affected students applied for and duly gained admission to the college in the 2011/2012 academic year.

After they had paid their tuition fees, been issued with ID Cards and gone through matriculation, the university wrote them letters withdrawing them, after a year of study in various courses.

According to Mr Marfo, that was because the NAB had directed that there were defects in their entry grades, and that if the authorities of PUC failed to withdraw the affected students, the NAB board would withdraw its recognition of the college as a duly-accredited one.

He said the first respondent did not indicate the nature of the said defects, did not give the students any notice or invite any of them to hear their side  of the story, a development which was against the rule of natural justice.

He said the PUC, affiliated to the University of Ghana, Legon, was stopped from doing so after the students had, at all material times, acted in good faith, to its detriment.

He, therefore, prayed the court to restrain the respondents from abruptly and illegally terminating the accrued rights of the students and grant consequential reliefs to ensure that their constitutional right to education was not unduly curtailed.

Responding, Mr Nii Larkai, counsel for the PUC, did not directly oppose the application but sought clarity from counsel for the students on the full effect of the motion.

Mr Acquaye said the respondents’ affidavit in opposition admitted almost all the averments of the affected students and, therefore, being a prayer, any consequential reliefs from the court would give proper effect to the motion.

The Presiding Judge, Mr Justice Dery, therefore, granted the applicants’ prayer ordering the respondents to reinstate the students and organise extra classes for them to enable them to write their first semester examinations which they were unable to do due to the withdrawal letters.

Hearing and subsequent closing arguments in the substantive matter are due for the court after the Christmas break.

Source: Daily Graphic

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