Blame conditions of service for Gh₵500K 'expensive' Benz - Wa Poly Rector
The embattled Rector of the Wa Polytechnic, Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu has explained that there was nothing wrong with procuring a Gh₵500,000 Mercedez Benz vehicle for his official use.
Responding to concerns that the vehicle he bought was expensive, Prof Marfo-Owusu said if his accusers were thinking that the car is "very expensive, that is their problem."
“…in my conditions of service, they never stressed that the car should be 500 or 800 or 200,000 or 150,000 that you buy. It says any car of your choice, there was no threshold of how much the car should cost and so if there is any problem in buying that car at that high price, it is the problem of the conditions of service as per written (guidelines) and so that is something they should look at,” Prof Marfo-Owusu said in a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM on Monday evening.
He was responding to concerns on the cost of the vehicle and explaining the circumstances that led to some lecturers chasing him out of campus with clubs on Monday.
Adding, Prof Marfo-Owusu said the idea of saying that he did not follow procurement process was not true.
"Look! they can bring people from what do you call it, Public Accounts Committee to come and investigate me for that, and then they will see every paper that we used, we followed the procurement process,” he said.
“When I went to the school last year 1st February 2017, it was the acting Finance Officer who brought me the document saying the that budget plan for 2017 was approved by the IMC [Interim Management Committee] and that it is time for them to seek permission from the NCTE [National Council for Tertiary Education] and then again GETFund [Ghana Education Trust Fund] for them to start spending.
Reacting to suggestions that the vehicle was acquired through fraudulent means, Prof. Marfo-Owusu said having worked as a professor for more than seven years, he is capable of affording any car of his choice.
“I am a person who has been well trained and has not taken anyone’s money…they [lecturers] are thinking that the car is very expensive.”
Some angry lecturers at the Wa Polytechnic chased Prof Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu out of campus with clubs and stones on Monday.
They have leveled a series of allegations of financial malfeasance and breaches of procurement processes against him especially in the purchase of a mercedez benz vehicle (pictured above) worth about Gh₵500,000.
The matter has attracted the attention of the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education and the Rector has been suspended by the Governing Council for investigations to continue.
But Prof Marfo-Owusu has challenged that decision in court and so armed with court documents asking him to continue with his work until May 15, 2018 when the court will rule on the mater, he went to the campus on Monday.
His presence on campus on Monday infuriated the lecturers who have said they don't want to see him around until investigations are complete.
Prof Marfo-Owusu is said to have questioned why his office had been locked and threatened to sack a security officer, after the latter told him to find out from the Estate Department why the office had been locked since he was only a security officer.
The lecturers blocked the road to prevent Prof Marfo-Owusu from driving away and told him they were going to seize the benz vehicle.
After some verbal exchanges, Prof Marfo-Owusu attempted to drive off campus but the lecturers run after him chanting, he was a "thief."