‘Old KNUST Council members can’t be judges in their own case’ – Oppong Nkrumah

Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Government on Monday reiterated its commitment to reopen the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Thursday, November 8, and expressed regret that it missed Friday, November 1, deadline to inaugurate a new council.

Addressing a news conference, on Monday, to respond to some emerging issues of national interest, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, however, said the Government was not interested in deciding which specific individuals were nominated to the new Council.

Nevertheless, the principle of specific persons who would end up becoming judges in their own cause is what it disagreed with, he stated.

He reaffirmed the Government’s position that individuals who constituted the old KNUST Council ought not to be on the new one, saying “the old Council cannot be judges in their own cause”.

Therefore, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said, the specific persons who constituted the old Council could not preside over the matters in which their own decisions and conduct would be a subject.

It was in that spirit, he said, that the Government and some other groups had already indicated their intentions to send new nominees to the new Council.

“In the matter of group seats on Council, the KNUST Act requires representatives from groups,” he said.

“It does not ask for specific individuals, therefore, Government is not interested in deciding, which specific individuals they nominate.

“The principle of specific persons who will end up becoming judges in their own cause is what government disagrees with.”

The Minister said the Government had submitted its four nominees to the Office of the Chancellor and expressed the hope that all parties would cooperate to present their nominees on time so that the appointee authorities would take the necessary action for the reconstitution of the Council.

Government closed down the KNUST following the outbreak of violence and destruction of property during a student demonstration on campus on October 22.

The impasse between the management and students of KNUST compelled the Government to intervene with emergency and interim measures to restore normalcy.

Government has since asked Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Chancellor of KNUST, to lead the reconstitution of the Council for the University to restore normalcy on campus.

The Minister said though the Interim Council was given up to three months to manage the University, the Government’s, subsequent, assessment of the situation gave hope that it could hand-over the Management of the University to a new Council earlier than expected.

He said the Government’s call for the appointment of new members onto the Council hinged on the fact that the old Council was party to the impasse, just as the actions of the students, student leaders and school management, which would naturally be the subjects of the full investigation when the University was re-opened.

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