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Suspension too harsh for Gyampo and Butakor in ‘sex for grades’ case – Xavier Sosu

The lawyer for Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Butakor who have been suspended for six months and four months respectively for their roles in a sexual harassment scandal which hit the University of Ghana in October 2019 says the punishment is too harsh.

In a press statement, the lawyers of the lecturers, F-X Law & Associates said, “we find the decision to be a little too harsh and the university’s communiqué as misleading”

“However, our clients accept the said decision and would respect it. Our clients have made it clear to us that as senior members of the university, they do not want to further litigate this matter in court or have a protracted dispute over the issue.”

They said the BBC did “showed gross disrespect” to Prof. Butakor and Prof. Gyampo by not availing themselves to be cross-examined during the University’s administrative proceedings on the matter, insisting that the disciplinary measures taken against the two lecturers do not indicate their guilt in the matter.

“The statement by the university creates a lot of doubts in the minds of people and to make it succinctly clear, Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor were not found guilty of sexual misconduct or sex for grades as was initially alleged by the BBC,” the lawyers said.

Reiterating the argument of the lawyers in a radio interview with Accra based Citi FM Tuesday morning [February 18, 2020], the lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu said the university’s statement announcing the suspension was “misleading.”

“In the first place they were not found guilty of sexual misconduct and given the fact that it was a breach of code of conduct, we think that six months and four months without salary is very harsh.”

“Secondly, also because they have been on interdiction since October 2019, so we would have thought that the sentence would have run from October, however, their sentences or suspensions are running from January. I mean the only reason why they have accepted to serve the suspension is that they also want a closure to this matter, so they can concentrate on their core mandate in academia,” he added.

The Committee that looked into the case according to the statement recommended that the case be referred to the Disciplinary Committee for Senior Members which proferred the sanctions against the pair.

“Management has accepted the recommendations of the Senior Members’ Disciplinary Committee and has informed Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor accordingly”, the release stressed.

The statement further assured stakeholders that any acts of misconduct, sexual harassment or any other form of harassment will not be tolerated among students and employees of the university.

Background

Prof Gyampo and Dr Butakor were accused of soliciting sex in order to extend some advantages to female students in a documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

In the documentary produced by the BBC Africa Eye and published on Monday, October 7, 2019, the BBC reported that it has uncovered sexual harassment at the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana.

The BBC sent female undercover reporters to the campuses of the two universities where it reported that they were sexually harassed, propositioned and put under pressure by senior lecturers – all the while wearing secret cameras.

Following that, the two lecturers were interdicted by the university.

Below is a copy of the statement from the University of Ghana on the suspension;

|Graphic Online

GWO

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