Dismissed GIJ Rector Dzisah serves notice to go to court

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Dismissed GIJ Rector Dr Wilberforce Dzisah serves notice to go to court
Dismissed GIJ Rector Dr Wilberforce Dzisah serves notice to go to court

The dismissed Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Dr Wilberforce Dzisah has indicated his readiness to challenge the decision of the Governing Council in court.

Dr Dzisah who was to complete his four year tenure in August 2018 was presented with a letter dated Friday March 23, 2018, announcing the termination of his appointment. 

He was initially ordered to proceed on leave over alleged infractions in “procurement practices” and allegations of academic integrity in December 2017.

Read also: GIJ Rector asked to proceed on leave

Related: GIJ Rector on voluntary annual leave


“I want to put on record that we will meet in court over this one because the Act [establishing GIJ] and even the conditions of service are clear in respect of appointment of a Rector for a tenure, for a term of four years and all that, so we will meet in court and then we will determine who is right or wrong,“ Dr Dzisah told Starr FM in a radio interview.

"Now the position is clear. I wouldn’t want to comment on the merit or demerit of what has been written on the so called letter of termination of appointment. But I want to put on record that we’ll meet in court over this ...," he added.

Meanwhile, the Registrar of GIJ, Mr Perry K.K Ofosu, who was ordered by the council to also proceed on leave, has  been demoted.

Mr. Ofosu is expected to resume work as deputy registrar and report to his assistant, Mrs. Patience Sowah, who has been made acting Registrar.

Already, acting Deputy Rector, Dr. Ebo Afful, has been removed and directed to revert to his previous position as the Head of the Journalism Department.

Dr Wilberforce Dzisah was ordered to proceed on leave over alleged procurement infractions under his leadership and allegations of academic integrity in December 2017.

Related GIJ initiates search for new Rector to replace Dr Wilberforce Dzisah

The GIJ in February initiated a search for a new rector to replace Dr Wilberforce Dzisah.

In December 2017, it emerged that Dr Dzisah had been asked by the GIJ Governing Council chaired by Professor Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh to proceed on leave pending investigations into the alleged procurement infractions.

The council also asked the Registrar of the Institute, Mr Perry P. K. Ofosu, to proceed on leave, while the acting Deputy Rector, Dr Ebo Afful was also later directed to revert to his previous position as the Head of the Journalism Department.

But the Institute in a statement, rebutted the media reports explaining that Dr Dzisah was rather taking part of his annual leave from Wednesday, December 27, 2017 to Thursday, February 1, 2018 “to allow for a smooth investigation into some concerns raised, including academic integrity and procurement practices.”

Related: GIJ Rector on voluntary annual leave

On February 1, 2018 however, Dr Dzisah reportedly resumed work only to be given a letter from the Governing Council, directing him to proceed on leave the next day, Friday 2, 2018.

In his stead, Dr Modestus Fosu, Head of the Communications Department is the acting Rector.

However, in the Monday February 26, 2018 edition of the Daily Graphic newspaper, the foremost communication training institute advertised the position of the Rector alongside that of the Deputy Rector and Deputy Registrar in charge of Academic Affairs on page 29.

The job advertisement indicated that applicants must be holders of post-graduate qualification in communication related field and PhD in an appropriate field and added that a professorial rank will be an advantage.

It said applicants must have at least seven years managerial experience at the senior level in higher education and must have a track record of teaching, research and administration at a tertiary level.

Dr Dzisah, who became Rector in September 2014 replacing David Newton is said to be finishing his four-year term this year.

Read also: EOCO invited to assist with investigations at GIJ

Already, the Governing Council of the GIJ, has invited the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to assist in the investigations on procurement infractions.

A letter dated February 7, 2017 signed by the GIJ Council Chairman to EOCO indicated that the council was investigating the operation of the institute from September 2014 to date.

The letter stated that the EOCO was to assist, including forensic audit, in establishing any short-comings that might have caused the institute to lose property or finances and, if any, their prompt retrieval.

According to the letter, the GIJ Council is principally interested in any role and actions, criminal or otherwise, some persons might have played, or indulged in, to lead to loss or wrongdoing during the period.

Those mentioned in the letter were Dr. Wilberforce Dzisah, Rector, since 2014, and currently on leave, Dr. Ebo Afful, Acting Vice Rector until January 31, 2018; Mr. Perry P. K. Ofosu, Registrar, who is currently on leave; Mr. Akwasi Sekyere Boateng, Procurement Officer, who is still at post, and any other member of faculty or staff.

Meanwhile, the council has also asked the Registrar of the Institute, Mr Perry P. K. Ofosu, to proceed on leave, while the acting Deputy Rector, Dr Ebo Afful, has been directed to revert to his previous position as the Head of the Journalism Department.

Among the allegations said to have persuaded the Council to initiate the investigations are poor managerial skills, nepotism, interference in the affairs of the academic board in the determination of best students and other actions that have affected the image of the institute.

Read also: Dr Dzisah's academic qualifications

An alumnus of GIJ himself, Dr Dzisah holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Communications and Media from the University of Westminister (United Kingdom) and a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Wales (Cardiff University) also in the United Kingdom.

He is also a SUSI Scholar, University of Ohio (The Study of the United States Institute) and a product of the Keta Secondary School.

He has many publications and peer-reviewed papers to his credit.

Before his appointment as Rector, Dr Dzisah was the Vice-Rector of the Institute. He also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Communications and Social Science at GIJ.