by Alieu Ceesay
A court in Kanifing has on Monday, October 2 upheld it’s ruling and ordered the University of The Gambia (UTG) to pay entitlements and damages caused as a result of unlawful contract termination to the country’s highest learning institution’s former Finance Director Kwadwo Kojo Ofasuhene.
Kojo as he is commonly called had worked as the director of finance at the UTG from 2010 to 2016 under the then vice chancellor Professor Muhammadou MO Kah before Kah was replaced by Professor Dr Faqir Muhammad Anjum.
Kojo said he was issued with a letter of termination three weeks into the appointment of vice chancellor Anjum on November 9, 2016 without three months termination notice as dictated by the Labour Law. Since the termination of his contract, Kojo, who has been going back and forth is yet to receive his entitlements from the UTG.
“As we speak I have not received my entitlements which I am due even when the UTG has the right to terminate my contract lawfully. Some of my entitlements includes air tickets for me and my family to go back home and payment to ship my stuff as well.
“I am an expatriate staff, I did not come here by myself. They also needed to pay for my vacation, which I could not take in 2016,” he told The Fatu Network in an interview.
To him, the unjust treatment he claimed to have received should not have come from an institution like the UTG that is entrusted to train the generation of Gambian leaders and by extension the next generation of African leaders.
“After the notice was served there were actions that were pure harassment, four days later they came to take the official vehicle from me and I remember telling them that as an expatriate staff I needed to get myself together, but the former Minister of Higher Education Dr Abubacarr Sengore instructed for them to returned the vehicle to me.”
Kojo, who has a U.S and Ghana dual citizenship recalled a scenario when he was stopped at the Denton Bridge on his way from Banjul where the vehicle he was using was taken from him for the second time.
After he was served with notice, the former UTG finance controller went on to hire a lawyer to pursue the matter through legal means. He filed a case at the Kanifing Court through Lawyer Patrick Gomez in December 2016 before he proceeded to join his family in the United States and later came back to proceed with the case.
“But the UTG never bothered to defend the case, a full trial was conducted, evidence revealed and I won judgment against the UTG for wrongful termination and damages for wrongful termination.
“It took me seven months to seek justice in The Gambia but it was something I wanted to do because I wanted not to tarnish my image as many people did not know what happened since there was no press release issued as to why I was not working at the University.”
The Vice Chancellor of the UTG, according to Kojo, is aware of the Court Ruling as the UTG has filed a motion at the Kanifing Court on July 6 2017, appealing the judgement and in a final ruling on October 2, 2017, the judge rejected all UTG’s claims and ruled in Kojo’s favor.
“I hope the UTG obeys the court order because I have served the UTG with distinction.”