General News of Tuesday, 7 January 2020
The fact-finding committee established by the University of Ghana to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against two lecturers at the institution following a documentary by the BBC says the title of the piece was deceptive and dramatic.
Prof Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor were referred to the Committee following the release of the documentary after they were found culpable of conducting themselves in a manner that caused embarrassment to the University.
However, after its investigations, the Committee which exonerated the two lecturers saying there was no evidence that they breached the University’s policy on sexual harassment believes the title of the documentary did not match what they saw in the video.
In the report, a copy of which is available to Joy News, the Committee said “…the title of the documentary ‘Sex for Grades’ is misleading and sensational.
“The Committee finds that the totality of the evidence before it there is a huge variance between the import title ‘Sex for Grades’ and the content of the actual video recording of the affected lecturers of the University of Ghana,” the report added.
Allegation of Sexual Misconduct
On the allegations of misconduct, the Committee said it does not find any prima facie evidence that satisfy the ingredients of misconduct as stated by the University’s Code of Conduct for Senior Members.
The six-member Committee in their report indicated that under paragraphs 10.1, 12.1 and 12.4 of the Code of Conduct of Senior Members of the University of Ghana and the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy of the University, the victims of the misconduct must be a member of the University.
“Consequently, the Committee notes that, in the absence of any evidence that Zara Abigail – the BBC undercover journalists – are students or members of the University of Ghana, the provisions of paragraphs 10.1, 12.1 and 12.4 of the Code of Conduct of Senior Members of the University of Ghana and the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy of the University cannot be triggered against the affected lecturers,” the report said.
The Committee after examining available evidence, however, finds credible evidence of misconduct against Prof Gyampo and Dr Butakor contrary to Paragraph 6.4 of the Code of Conduct of Senior Members of the University of Ghana.
That Paragraph stipulates that “Academic staff shall at all times comport themselves in ways that will enhance their image and that of the University.”
In addition, the Committee also finds credible evidence of misconduct against Prof Gyampo contrary to Statute 42(1)(e) (i) of the University Statutes which states that no member of the University shall “(e) engage in a course of vexatious conduct that is directed at one or more specific individuals, and (ii) that is known to be unwelcome.”
“In the light of the Committee’s findings that there is credible evidence of misconduct against Prof Gyampo and Dr Butakor, should the University be desirous of taking disciplinary action against them it could do so under Paragraphs 14.1, 14.2 and 14.6 of the Code of Conduct for the Academic Staff of the University or Statute 43(2) of the University of Ghana Statutes as amended,” the report stated.