The legal advisor of the University of Ghana Student’s Representative Council (UGSRC), Spencer Addo has justified the use of the executive committee body to approve appointments made by the SRC president.
He was of the view that article 14 of the UGSRC constitution, which states that the Executive Committee (EXECOM) can only function during emergencies and on holidays, means that the framers of the constitution foresaw a time like this, hence SRC’s ability to use EXECOM in executing these functions.
Speaking at the second sitting of the EXECOM body which took place on Wednesday 8thout November 2023, at the SRC Union Building, the legal advisor strongly pointed out that the SRC has done no wrong by using the EXECOM to approve its appointees. He further highlighted how the absence and nonexistence of the General Assembly (GA) guarantees the SRC to go ahead and make appointments and subsequently approve same.
“If there’s conflict [in the council], what the university administration is saying would be the one to override the constitution. In essence, you realize that the framers of the constitution by the virtue of the words that they use intend or contemplate a situation whereby general assembly would not be available so there must be someone acting and, in this instance…it is the executive committee which is the most appropriate body to undertake such powers.”
On pointing out how the constitution mandates the SRC to report to the general assembly on any decision taken during this emergency period, he lamented on the non-existence of the GA, which makes the mandate impossible.
“Who are they going to report to? The GA is nonexistent, so you realize there is no body for the SRC to report to. Until the GA returns, the SRC and its executive committee would have to continue to take decisions on behalf of the GA.”
At the same sitting, The Chief Justice of the SRC Mr. Kwame Julius Anthony swore in the judicial board, with EXECOM approving five new committee heads appointed through the SRC president, Frank Tsikata. The various committees were the transport, publicity, arbitration, internship, and disciplinary committee heads respectively.
Meanwhile, a former SRC presidential candidate in the 2023 UGSRC Presidential Elections, Justice Alor filed a petition against the move by SRC to use EXECOM in approving its appointees. In his petition to the dean of student affairs, the former UGSRC presidential candidate emphasized that the actions being taken by the administrative body are functions of the General Assembly and so it’s unlawful for the SRC to continue to use EXECOM in executing such functions.
22nd of October, 2023, was the date slated for the elections of a new UGSRC GA speaker; however, the election was marred with acts of violence resulting in the indefinite suspension of the elections by the University’s dean of student affairs. As the return of the general assembly hangs in balance, the SRC deemed it fit to keep the council up and running through the use of the EXECOM to stir its affairs while students await the outcome of investigations into the acts of violence that occurred during the elections of the speaker, as well as the return of the general assembly of the UGSRC.
Story by: Mudasir Braimah | univers.ug.edu.gh