"I Have Tracked down Equity"- Previous Legon VC composes on winning maligning argument against replacement

Mrs Ceda Ankra

 I intended to sue my replacement as Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana four years ago for fabricating information about me. I didn't tell anyone when I finally decided to sue him a year later because I was aware that many people would try to discourage me from doing so for "embarrassing the University of Ghana." In point of fact, the very first lawyer I talked to about the lies coming from the Vice Chancellor's office at the university suggested that it would not be in my best interest to be seen as having turned against the university that I had been so closely associated with for such a long time. This lawyer was the one who advised me that it would not be in my best interest. Naturally, that was not what I wanted.

Sadly, I was forced to attempt to stop it as the falsehoods persisted for several months and intensified. I used to wonder why no one at the university could intervene and stop the obvious persecution at that time. I discovered that a few people had attempted to speak on my behalf at Academic Board meetings and were promptly referred to as "Aryeetey's Boys" or "Aryeetey's Girls." Their punishment was that the university administration would harass them unnecessarily. Some of them got very sick, which gave other people who might have thought about supporting my cause enough notice. Yes, a university as a whole and all of its stakeholders lost voice. Nobody was keen on talking about straightforwardly the new advancements with the Africa Integras project. For a lot of people, it was just a fight between two professors. It wasn't, though. Integrity was at stake; my and the university's!

There were two reasons I went to court: ( 1) I had to show the world that I wasn't a criminal and that I didn't behaved in the way that my successor's new university management was trying to portray me. 2) I wanted to compel an impartial evaluation of the steps we took to create the three concession agreements I signed for this project.

It became increasingly clear to me as I listened to university and government officials discuss the project and its processes, that they had not bothered to comprehend it or were not interested in comprehending it. They were more interested in finding someone to blame for the daily mess the university was getting into by refusing to negotiate with the project developers in a reasonable way. Ernest Aryeetey was the target of more and more attacks as the university's situation deteriorated.

The "witch-hunt committee" report that my successor put together in March 2017 to review the project served as the basis for the attacks. A complaint against the previous VC seemed to be the only obvious requirement for membership on the committee. The report's reading revealed a very poor understanding of law, corporate finance, and university management. However, my successor used it as his weapon. He made excellent use of it to persuade members of the university community, the government, and other stakeholders of my alleged guilt. They were informed about the contents of the report but did not compare them to any other relevant information. The report made a case for ending the agreement but didn't look at easily accessible information about the project and only came to predetermined conclusions. It was a document with very little intellectual content and a strong dislike for Ernest Aryeetey. It wasn't hard to understand why, given the committee's composition. That report was the source of all the lies spread about the project and about me. The Vice Chancellor was simply provided with what he wanted by the Committee; a justification to end the project and shame Ernest Aryeetey.

I knew it was time for me to take action after attending the burial of a Legon employee and hearing the homily delivered by the Reverend Minister. "This man lying in front of us worked at the University of Ghana for many years, and we never heard that he had stolen a pesewa from the University," he stated in Fante. Millions of dollars are now stolen by those who have free transportation, free lodging, free electricity, free water, free telephones, and so on. Corrupt politicians aren't the only ones; Academics may also be corrupt. This was during the week when a fringe newspaper, citing a lot from the "witch-hunt committee" report, directly accused me of being a part of a corrupt $64 million deal. I had just arrived at the church late when the minister saw me. I couldn't believe I had been the subject of a funeral service homily!

When I heard what my successor had to say about me at a Convocation meeting on July 2, 2019, it was the final straw that sent me to court. He was attempting to portray me as the worst Vice Chancellor Legon had ever had. All of Legon's troubles came from me. I was required to post a self-cognizance bail of US$15 million after the university reported me to EOCO with a complaint of "fraudulent collusion." It dawned on me as I sat in the EOCO interrogation room without windows that I was not only deliberately embarrassed; My successor wanted to see me imprisoned for no good reason, and my freedom was being restricted.

I was extremely fortunate to find an attorney who recognized my persecution and believed my story. We gave my successor numerous chances to retract his false statements, but he completely ignored us. As a result, we devised a precise plan to demonstrate that his statements on various platforms were defamatory. That was simple due to the abundance of these assertions on the internet. He could not have denied them because it was so overwhelming. Because I had copies of the majority of the relevant documents to demonstrate the falsity, we had no trouble proving that the statements he made were false. I figured out how to find a star observer who validated the proof legitimately and solidly. Over the course of three years of negotiations and project development, there was more than enough evidence to show that we followed the law and that this was never a one-man show. Sadly for my successor, the documents he presented as evidence did not back up his witness statement. Indeed, his documents were of great assistance to my case.

We also had to show that right-thinking people had less respect for me, and the judge agreed that my standing had been affected. At the funeral, I didn't even talk about my experience.

After the hearings had been closed and I read my "Offended party's Composed Location" created by my legal advisor, I turned out to be exceptionally hopeful about the logical result. It was flawlessly composed and the rationale of the contentions seemed strong to me. Any lawyer involved in a defamation case should use this address.

The judge ultimately concurred with everything we demonstrated and said in court. He granted all of my requests for relief and ordered Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu to retract the defamatory statements and sincerely apologize to me. He ought to address this to the staff, the Convocation, and the alumni of the university. Within 21 days of the judgment's date, this should also be published three times on the University's Radio Univers. In addition, he issued an order prohibiting Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu from further defaming me or making statements that would be considered defamatory of me.

I tried very hard not to show any emotion as I sat in the courtroom and listened to the judge read his decision. I suppose the overwhelming evidence had, in the end, spoken for itself. I had the opportunity to demonstrate to my grandchildren that their grandfather was not a careless manager or a corrupt criminal thanks to the judgment.

I'm grateful to God that the truth prevailed in the end. I am grateful to my attorney, Kwesi Fynn, and his team for their excellent work. They were always very thorough and professional. I made every effort to avoid being a "too-known" client, and I believe it paid off for all of us.

I am grateful to my friends and family, particularly Ellen, for supporting me through this ordeal. They assured me that they believed in me and prayed for me. I am grateful to my classmates from Achimota and Presec who have remained supportive and steadfast to me throughout the years and have frequently advised me, "Don't mind them; They are simply envious. At Legon, there were a few people who were not afraid to be seen with me and had the bravery to openly defend me. They are self-aware, and I am appreciative of their efforts.

I received GHS 300,000 in damages from the court, which included aggravated damages. I thank the court for that and I mean to give the aggregate of the honor to noble cause.

I hope everything works out for Teacher Ebenezer Oduro Owusu. Also, I pray that those who take office in Ghana in the future won't use it as a chance to harass or kill their supposed or real enemies. I never considered myself to be a rival or foe of my successor. I still don't know what I did that made me deserve what I've been through. Perhaps, in the future, Ernest Aryeetey, who served as the University of Ghana's Vice Chancellor from 2010 to 2016,


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