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Wa Polytechnic Rector suspended over corruption allegations

Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu

Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, the Rector of Wa Polytechnic, has been suspended by the Polytechnic Governing Council after several corruption allegations and financial malfeasance have been levelled against him by some staff of the institution.

According to the Governing Council, the suspension letter dated April 5, 2018, Dr Baba Insah, the Vice Rector of the Polytechnic will act as the Rector till the investigations were concluded.

The directive for Professor Marfo-Owusu’s suspension came after the Polytechnic Governing Council had an emergency meeting last Wednesday at the Ministry of Education in Accra which agreed to suspend him to pave way for investigations into multiple petitions written against the man inducted last month as the Rector.

The corruption against him quoted in suspension letter signed by Professor Daniel A. Bagah, the Chairman of Wa Polytechnic Governing Council and made available to journalists on Monday included several breaches of public financial management and procurement laws.

The allegations included; verbal to physical abuse of staff, massive procurement fraud and financial irregularities, wilfully causing financial loss to the polytechnic, disregard to laid down policy document and procedures, blatant disregard for Council directives and disregard for GETFUND and NCTE directives on implementation of government’s fiscal policy.  

Professor Bagah told Journalists that, the Council was deeply worried about the “unfortunate development.” where a confusion on campus led to the blockade all access roads to the Rector’s office.

He said the Council thought they would have made some progress after the rumpus but it appeared members still had a difficult task ahead.

He said three-member committee made up of a lawyer, an academic and an accountant had been set up and would commence investigation into the matter soon.

Professor Bagah noted that a GH¢503,000 Benz Car, 2017 model, purchased for the Rector was at the centre of the confusion which he said many staff believed the school did not have money to pay for examination stationery and staff allowances and yet could afford such an “expensive” car.  

“It is the centre of everything, here is an institution where we say we don’t have money, we have allowances that are outstanding, certain departmental requests are outstanding and these are just minor expenditures which could easily be approved for them to continue with academic work,” he said.

“But he [Professor Marfo-Owusu] is not interested in that rather, he is interested in getting a posh Benz car,” he added, and that the Council was not in place at the time contract for the Car was signed.

According to Professor Bagah the contract was signed on 15th September 2017 while the Polytechnic Governing Council was also inaugurated on 19th September 2017.

But Professor Marfo-Owusu has denied all the allegations, describing them as baseless and without any iota of truth.

He told journalists earlier that there were a lot of things in the polytechnic that were not going right which undermined its growth and expansion to qualify for a technical university status.

He said in an attempt to put things right after assuming office in January 2017 he was met with stiff opposition, citing several unfounded reasons.

He explained that when he took office, it was established that the polytechnic had not accessed funds from the GETFund for about eight years, and so assisted in securing GH¢11 million from the fund for several development projects.

He also said there was mismatch in some subjects that lecturers teach while some of the lecturers hold High National Diploma teach HND students which he said was against tertiary education council regulations.

Professor Marfo-Owusu told the GNA on Tuesday that he had sought Court injunction that allowed him to access the campus and his office, though amidst tight security.

Source: GNA

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