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Dismissed Students Of Pentecost University Win Court Case   
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An Accra Fast Track High Court has described as wrongful the dismissal of some 21 students by the Pentecost University and the National Accreditation Board for allegedly entering the university without meeting the minimum entry requirements.

The Court, presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, said the students relied on representations made to them by the university and the NAB through newspaper advertisements and could not be punished unduly.

The affected students earlier this year obtained a restraining order against the Pentecost University College and the NAB after they were withdrawn for non-compliance with the entry requirements.

Counsel for the students, Mr. Gary Nimako Marfo argued before the court that relying on the School’s brochure and subsequent publications, the affected students applied for and duly gained admission to the Pentecost University for the 2011/2012 academic year.

After paying the tuition fees, being issued with ID Cards and going through a Ceremony of Matriculation, the University wrote them letters withdrawing them, after a year of Study in various Courses.

According to Mr. Marfo, the action of the university was in response to claims by the National Accreditation Board that there were ‘defects’ in the entry grades of the affected students and a threat by NAB that it would withdraw its recognition of the University as a duly-accredited institution if the students were not withdrawn.

Continuing, Mr Marfo said the university did not indicate the nature of the said defects, did not give the students any notice or invite any of them to hear their side as required by the rule of Natural Justice.

He said the University College, which is affiliated to the University of Ghana, Legon, refused to listen to the students despite the fact that they, at all material times, acted in good faith and in reliance on the university’s representations to them.

He, therefore, prayed the Court to restrain the Respondents from abruptly and illegally terminating his clients’ accrued rights and grant consequential reliefs to ensure that their Constitutional right to Education was not unduly curtailed.

The court agreed with him.

In his ruling, Justice Asante said, NAB has by accrediting the Pentecost University “with the minimum admission requirement which includes D7 and E8 passes as set out herein, and the 1st respondent (Pentecost University) also by advertising those requirements in the daily newspapers as the admission requirements which state of affairs influenced the applicants to apply for and obtain admissions into the 1st correspondent university, cannot resile from their representations.

I find that they have by their representations made the applicants to believe in their publications as the true minimum admission requirements and so they cannot turn around to change the conditions unilaterally to the disadvantage of the applicants. The withdrawal of the applicants who relied on the state of affairs presented by the correspondents is very wrongful because the publications were conclusively presumed to be the true situation so far as the applicants were concerned and they rightly relied on them.”

He added that “I think that those entry requirements, though changed by the respondents, cannot affect the admission of the applicants herein. I find the purported withdrawal of the applicants from the 1st respondent university wrongful and I set aside the 2nd respondent (NAB’s) decision to withdraw the applicants from the 1st respondent university.”

The court said the students should, however, be made to re-write the relevant subjects and pass same before they can graduate.
Source: Malik Abass Daabu/JFM

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