The Speaker of the UPSA SRC General Assembly risks being removed over many claims, including the receipt of kickback for getting the GH40,000 budget of the External Affairs Secretariat passed.
In a three-paged petition filed with the SRC High Chamber on Wednesday, Prince Courage Gavi is said to have flouted various provisions of the SRC Constitution. The lead petitioner is Prince Keteku, a level 200 law student of the school.
Below are excerpts of the petition:
“First, contrary to Article 24 (g) (h) (j) and (k) of the SRC Constitution, Rt. Hon. Prince Courage Gavi personally benefited and received the sum of GH¢1,000 from the External Affairs President, Mr Albert Anum, representing a kickback and “thank you bonus” for allowing the Secretariat’s NUGS Week Celebration budget of GH¢40,000 to pass the General Assembly. This is in clear violation of Article 24 which seeks to avoid any conflict of interest situation. A copy of a memo detailing those who benefited from the passage of the Local NUGS week celebration budget has been attached for ease of reference,” the petition said.
“Second, in blatant disregard of Article 3 and 4 of the SRC Constitution the General Assembly chaired by Rt. Hon. Prince Courage Gavi has been cited in the Independent Audit Report for breaching various provisions of the Constitution. In the report dated February 13, 2020, and presented to the General Assembly, the Assembly approved a deficit budget for the SRC Executives contrary to Article 26 (2), (3) and (9) of the SRC Constitution. The able Auditor was emphatic that: “As per the capital structure of every entity, activities are either financed by equity or debt instruments and therefore a deficit budget can only be financed by debt which is against the provisions of the constitution of the SRC. It is therefore inappropriate from the perspective of the auditors for the general assembly to grant overspending by 20% of the total revenue that can be generated by the SRC.” Relying on the theory of ultimate responsibility among others, it is our contention that the Speaker of the General Assembly needs to be held responsible for the illegality.”
“Third, acting contrary to Articles 4(4) (i) and 4 (7) (a) and (b), the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Prince Courage Gavi had summoned two emergency General Assembly meetings without regard to the provisions of the SRC Constitution. Article 4(7) (a) states that: “Notwithstanding clause 5(d) of this article 1/ 3⁄ of members of the General Assembly may request for an emergency meeting provided that notice of such request shall be given in writing and that the Agenda/Agendum shall be attached and delivered to the Clerk.” However, this provision was wantonly disregarded when he called for two General Assembly meetings – first on February 17, 2020, and second on February 24, 2020, which did not receive the 1/3 endorsement required by the SRC Constitution. This is in clear exercise of non-existing powers constituting the arrogation of authority that has been ably vested into the SRC Constitution. Therefore on the strength of Articles 3 and 4 of the SRC Constitution, Rt. Hon. Prince Courage Gavi has threatened the overthrow of the Constitution with his act. This in sharp contradiction of Article 4(2) (g) which states that: “The Speaker shall convene General Assembly meetings at specific times and schedules and upon the request of 1/ 3 of members of the General Assembly.”
Fourth, a constitution of a country or an organisation is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure that must exist within that organisation or country. These unique qualities and characteristics are shared by the SRC Constitution which for us and for all students of the University of Professional Studies, Accra is the highest-ranked document that must and should inform the action of all students, organs of the SRC and individual officials that man those organs. This, therefore, means that any decision or action that falls outside the SRC Constitution per Article 3 and 4 is completely unconstitutional and must be shot down. The General Assembly on February 24, 2020, following a motion, moved on the floor of the House and seconded by the SRC Vice president, Nathaniel Jill Addo Junior, suspended the SRC President, Honourable Peter MwinZumah. Combing through the SRC Constitution, one is left destitute because the decision to suspend the SRC President is not supported in law. The word “suspension” is used once in the SRC Constitution at Article 25(3) in the sub-heading – nothing was said about the word and no procedure was laid for effecting same. This may be one of the sins committed by the framers of the SRC Constitution but based on internationally approved constitutional interpretation and amendment, the General Assembly has no power whatsoever to suspend the SRC President over a frivolous excuse of absenting himself from a meeting organised on February 24, 2020.
Finally, suspending the SRC President without an appropriate forum for him to react to the manufactured claims against him amounts to a clear breach of the principle of natural justice which strikes at the core of the General Assembly decision. God in His infinite wisdom in Genesis 3: 9-20 interviewed Adam after the first man had eaten of the forbidden fruit contrary to instruction. The greatest Architect of the universe passed judgement on Adam and Eve after He had given them the adequate facility to react to what they had done. This is a shining demonstration of what all of us who are in position should do and this has been given expression in Article 23 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. It is our contention that this breach of the principle of natural justice is fundamental to the decision of the General Assembly and as the head, he must take the fall for supervising an illegal activity.”
The Judicial Council upon receipt of the petition is expected to serve the other party and set a day for a hearing.
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