Atuguba considering legal action if Public Universities Bill is passed

The Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law (UGSL), Professor Raymond Atuguba, is considering legal action if the controversial Public Universities Bill is passed amidst the numerous calls for its withdrawal.

According to him, the Bill needs to be thrown out because it is unnecessary and infringes on the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

Speaking on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News on Wednesday, Prof Atuguba explained that, “Our 1992 Constitution in various articles including Articles 68(1)(b) and 195 seek to ensure that public universities are insulated from governmental and partisan control. Article 68 bars the President of Ghana from being Chancellor of a public university. It states it black and white. The President cannot be a Chancellor because that is going to be an avenue for control.”

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“Article 195 states that the President can appoint members and officers for the entire public services of Ghana. But Article 195(3) states an entire exception to that. The President cannot employ officers for public universities. So it is clear. What the Bill seeks to do is to undermine this. The Bill provides that the President appoints the chancellors of public universities. This has never happened since the Constitution came into force.”

He further stressed that the passing of the Bill is unnecessary because “you already have a regulatory system for the management of public universities that have run perfectly well.”

When asked what he would do if the government goes on to pass the Public Universities Bill, he said that he would send the issue to the Supreme Court so the Bill will be “struck down” on the basis of it going contrary to the Constitution.

“I am just a member of UTAG. UTAG is speaking against the Bill in the hope that it will not be passed in its current state and that both the Minister [of Education] and Committee for Education [in Parliament] will see good in withdrawing it. If they do not, there are many options. Once it is passed, it is possible to go to the Supreme Court and ask that the court strikes the entirety or parts of the Bill down as it is contrary to the provisions of the 1992 Constitution.”

“If this Bill passes, I have to decide as an individual whether to remain in the university and send all my university partnerships, research projects and proposals to the Minister for approval or get out. And if I’m getting out, I might then consider going to have the Bill struck down as unconstitutional,” he stated.

Source: Citi Newsroom

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