A fact-finding committee constituted by the University of Ghana (UG) to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against two lecturers at the institution, Prof Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor, has stated that the title of the documentary is deceptive and dramatic.
According to the Committee in its report that is available to the media, it stated that “…the title of the documentary ‘Sex for Grades’ is misleading and sensational.”
The Committee’s report, which seem to have exonerated the two lecturers, said there was no evidence that they breached the University’s policy on sexual harassment.
“The Committee finds that the totality of the evidence before it, there is a huge variance between the imported title ‘Sex for Grades’ and the content of the actual video recording of the affected lecturers of the University of Ghana,” the report stated.
The Committee further stated that it does not find any prima facie evidence that satisfies the ingredients of sexual misconduct as stated by the University’s Code of Conduct for Senior Members.
The report indicated that under paragraphs 10.1, 12.1 and 12.4 of the Code of Conduct of Senior Members of the University of Ghana and the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy of the University, the victims of the misconduct must be a member of the University.
“Consequently, the Committee notes that, in the absence of any evidence that Zara Abigail – the BBC undercover journalists – are students or members of the University of Ghana, the provisions of paragraphs 10.1, 12.1 and 12.4 of the Code of Conduct of Senior Members of the University of Ghana and the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy of the University cannot be triggered against the affected lecturers,” the report said.
Despite stating that the title of the documentary is misleading and exonerating the two from allegations of “sex for grade”, the Committee however said it finds credible evidence of misconduct against Prof Gyampo and Dr Butakor contrary to Paragraph 6.4 of the Code of Conduct of Senior Members of the University of Ghana.
Paragraph 6.4of the University’s Code of Conduct of Senior Members says that “Academic staff shall at all times comport themselves in ways that will enhance their image and that of the University.”
The Committee thus stated that it found credible evidence of misconduct against the two contrary to Statute 42(1)(e) (i) of the University Statutes which states that no member of the University shall “(e) engage in a course of vexatious conduct that is directed at one or more specific individuals, and (ii) that is known to be unwelcome.”
The Committee has thus suggested that the University can take disciplinary action against the two should they desire.
“In the light of the Committee’s findings that there is credible evidence of misconduct against Prof Gyampo and Dr Butakor, should the University be desirous of taking disciplinary action against them it could do so under Paragraphs 14.1, 14.2 and 14.6 of the Code of Conduct for the Academic Staff of the University or Statute 43(2) of the University of Ghana Statutes as amended,” the report stated.
The six-member Committee was formed following a documentary by the BBC Africa Eye. The 53 minutes documentary according to the BBC was supposed to have revealed “Sex for Grades” in some West African Universities.
However, the documentary which had two lecturers from the University, Prof. Ransford Gyampo, Head of the Centre for European Studies, and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor captured was described by many including the revered Ghanaian professor of Communication, Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, as a ‘journalistic investigation gone rogue.’
The Committee according to the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, submitted its report to the University on 12th November 2019.