The University of Ghana (UG) has interdicted two of its senior lecturers implicated in the explosive ‘sex for grade’ scandal in West African universities.
Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor were caught on tape allegedly propositioning and sexually harassing undercover journalists who posed as students of the University of Ghana.
“…the Business and Executive Committee of the University has taken a decision to interdict Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor, the two lecturers featured in the documentary to allow for further investigations into the matter” a statement issued Tuesday said.
The two lecturers, the university said, will in the coming days face the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee to assist with further investigations into the BBC documentary which was released on Monday October 7.
Although both lecturers have vehemently denied the allegations against them, the University said in a statement that it takes serious, issues of sexual harassment and misconduct, and accordingly “condemn any of such acts”.
It assured the public that authorities will prosecute the current case under investigation, in addition to all outstanding cases before the Committee.
“We would like to state emphatically that the University of Ghana does not and will not shield any employee or student found to have engaged in sexual harassment or misconduct. No member of the University is considered above the law,” the statement indicated.
It described sexual harassment as exploiting power imbalance and noiselessness; something it indicated, has harmful impact on individuals, families and institutions.
On the back of that, the university said it has taken steps to encourage students and employees to report any form of sexual harassment and misconduct to authorities for action, the university has also “instituted measures to punish anyone found guilty of the offence”.
According to the university, at all instances that evidence has been provided with information and/or evidence of sexual harassment or misconduct, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee has investigated the matter, interviewed the parties involved, and applied the appropriate sanctions as outlined in the policy.
These, it said, included dismissals.
“The University would like to assure all members of the university community, including students, employees, our stakeholders and the public that it will continue to actively fight against sexual harassment/misconduct, and other acts of indiscipline,” it said.
It said authorities will use existing structures to handle all matters of sexual harassment and misconduct, while protecting the rights of the victims.
Meanwhile, the university has urged all its constituents to report any acts of sexual harassment and misconduct, noting it has opened additional communication channels to facilitate the reporting of such cases.