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High Court quashes “gay report” against Assistant Headmaster of KUHIS

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

The Accra High Court has quashed an investigative report by a five-member committee of the Kumasi High School (KUHIS) that found an assistant headmaster of the school guilty of homosexual acts with a student of the school.

In a ruling, the court presided over by Mrs Justice Georgina Mensah Datsa held that the committee breached the rules of natural justice by failing to give the assistant headmaster, Mr George Amponsah–Duodu, a hearing before coming out with the investigative report.

“It is an undisputed fact that the applicant was not given a hearing before the report which has adverse finding on him was prepared. This is against the right to be heard,” Justice Datsa held.

The ruling of the court followed a certiorari application (a writ or order by which a higher court reviews a case tried in a lower court) filed by Mr Amponsah-Duodu challenging the legality of the said investigative report.

Joined in the application as respondents were Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, the Director- General of the GES; and the Headmaster of KUHIS, Mr Bernard Hall Baidoo.
Apart from quashing the investigative report, Mrs Justice Datsa also awarded cost of GhȻ5,000 in favour Mr Amponsah-Duodu.

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Background
Per court documents, Mr Baidoo set up a five-member member committee to investigate allegations of homosexual activities among some staff and students of KUHIS, an all-male senior high school.

On November 5, 2018, Mr Duodu was invited to appear before the committee after allegations by a student that the assistant headmaster "introduced him into an act of homosexuality".

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Mr Duodu denied the allegations both in writing and verbally when he appeared before the committee.

The committee preferred a charge of sexual misconduct against him and submitted its report to the Ashanti Regional Directorate of the GES.

In a letter dated November 20, 2018 and signed by the Head of its legal Unit, Rev Father Obeng Larbi, the Ashanti Regional Directorate of the GES directed Mr Duodu to appear before its Disciplinary Committee on November 27, 2018.

'Accuser can't be found'

According to Mr Duodu's application for the judicial review, when he appeared before the Disciplinary Committee, the headmaster testified and relied solely on the investigative report.

He averred that when his counsel questioned Mr Baidoo as to whether the investigative committee allowed him (Mr Duodu) to cross-examine the accuser, the headmaster replied in the negative.

Also, he said, his counsel wrote to Mr Baidoo to produce the said accuser before the Disciplinary Committee for him to be cross-examined, but the headmaster failed to do so.

"When the second respondent (Mr Baidoo) was questioned by the Disciplinary Committee why he failed to produce the said accuser before the Committee, his answer was that all attempts to reach the said person had proved futile," he added.

It was his case that the whole process was a "grand scheme being masterminded ostensibly to destroy my hard won integrity and moral record for the over 27 years of stay in the school both as student and a teacher."

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