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25 January 2017

Mountcrest University College sues NAB

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The Mountcrest University College in Accra (MCU) has sued the National Accreditation Board (NAB) at the High Court over its embargo on fresh admissions of students into law programmes at the university.

Joined to the suit are the Attorney-General, the Executive Secretary of NAB, Kwame Dattey and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NAB, Lawrence Kwarteng Ashia.

The university says the tenure of office of the Accreditation Board expired last year when its three-year mandate ended, and therefore did not have the legal mandate to sanction and or issue such directives.

A Statement of Claim filed on behalf of the university by Messrs Ansah-Asare and Company of Hencil Chambers, said the “directive and the decision complained of by officers of the NAB have neither factual nor legal basis.”

“Even though the directive asking the university to cease fresh admissions into all its law programmes, as well as the decision to publicise the embargo in the print and electronic media were carried out in the name of the Board, the directives and consequential decisions were taken by the second and third defendants without recourse to the Board because the Board had not been constituted and did not exist.”

The NAB, according to the plaintiff, is an agency of the Ministry of Education and not a corporate body having perpetual succession and a common seal.
It is an assembly of persons appointed by the President of Ghana for a three-year term of office.

The Board deals, inter alia, with policy matters concerning Institutional and Programme Accreditation of tertiary institutions, but currently there is no Board to take policy decisions.

It said the Board is yet to be constituted by the incumbent President.

The plaintiff averred that on June 13th, 2016, a Joint Quality Monitoring and Verification Panel of the National Accreditation Board/General Legal Council (NAB/GLC), visited Mountcrest in consequence of which, from information supplied to it by Mountcrest, which showed a student/staff ratio to be over the acceptable norm, directed the university to submit a revised document taking into account part-time, adjunct and visiting Faculty.

In strict compliance with the directive, the plaintiff said the university forwarded a revised document to the NAB showing a student/staff ratio of 38:1 by a letter dated 19th July, 2016.

Then by a letter dated 30th November, 2016, signed by the second defendant, the NAB notified plaintiff of the Board’s decision reached at its 91st meeting held in November 2016, to the effect that the student/staff ratio of Mountcrest was slightly higher than the acceptable norm of 27:1 and in consequence thereof requested the university on or before 31st January, 2017, to among other issues, take the necessary steps to reduce the student/staff ratio and show evidence that the library had been stocked with relevant reference materials.

The plaintiff said that before the advent of the 31st January 2017 deadline, public notices appeared in the national newspapers and social media announcing that NAB had placed an embargo on fresh admissions into the Law programmes of Mountcrest.

The plaintiff said the Board could not before the deadline deprive the university of the time given to it to address the concerns of the Board in its letter of 30th November, 2016.

 

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