[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t has emerged that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has since 2015 been investigating a petition brought before it for alleged financial malfeasance, abuse of office, charging of unauthorised fees, among other allegations, by the principal of the Dambai College of Education, Mr. Musah Yamba Issahaku.
However, in a follow-up interview with Awake Investigates, Mr. Issahaku denied the allegations, adding that since the matter is before CHRAJ, he would not make further comments on the petition.
Awake Investigates has obtained a copy of the petition filed at CHRAJ, the anti-corruption state agency by some group of tutors of the College under the Whistleblowers’ Act.
In an interview with Awake Investigates, the officer-in-charge of the [ads1]case at the CHRAJ, Mr. John Asumyusia Asaamah confirmed that the Commission is indeed investigating the matters in the petition.
When asked why the investigation seems to be taking so long for the commission to conclude its investigations, the officer replied ‘ The matter is a serious and complex one and I need more time to do a professional job.”
Responding to suggestions that that he (CHRAJ Officer) is intentionally delaying the report until the principal, Mr. Issahaku, goes on retirement next year, the CHRAJ Office said ‘it is not true. Even if he goes on retirement, the Commission can still invite him to answer questions if the need be.”
Below are excerpts of the petition:
Charging of unapproved fees:
The Principal has been charging students unapproved fees that make the fees exorbitant for the students since the 2013/2014 academic year.
- Internet Subscription fee: while students are charged for computer lab/ICT separately, they are again charged for internet subscription on the same bill. We believe that, internet is embedded in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This means students are charged twice for the same item. Moreover, on PRINCOF approved fees, there is nothing like internet subscription. (Refer to attachment “A”, items 3 and 16; attachment “B”, items 4 and 17).
- Bed User Fee: students are charged bed user fees. Meanwhile, the beds and the mattresses were procured from GETFund allocation to the college. The issue here is that, the government has paid fully for the beds and mattresses but students are made to pay for it exorbitantly. Meanwhile, this item is also not on the PRINCOF approved fees.
Besides this, students are charged maintenance of Residential facilities fees and again Hall Dues (as supplementary fees.) In all, students are charged three times on one thing. (Refer to Attachment “A”, items 12 and 15; Attachment “B”, items 13 and 16; Attachment C A.)
Please, refer to Attachment D (Proposed scheduled of fees for items which cannot be found on the PRINCOF schedule.)
- Other Fees: Besides the unapproved fees, the other fees such as library, maintenance of Academic Facilities, Sanitation and Environment, First Aid, just to mention but a few are not put into any proper use. Examples are that there is no “First Aid” for students in the college. The students provide their own First Aid on Hall bases, and the Library has seen no improvement over the years.
- Procurement of suits for the teaching staff and students, and Track suit for students in the 2011/2012 academic year were procured without passing through tender.
- Supply of tubers of yam to the college: After a supplier (Victoria Bakannor) was awarded the contract to supply yam to the college, the Principal asked her to hold on while the Principal himself supplied the yam for the first phase of the 2nd Semester 2014/2015 academic year. When some members of staff started questioning his supply of the yam, at a staff meeting, he replied that under the Public Procurement Act, as a Principal (or head of the institution), he is entitled to some percentage of supply to the college. This was corroborated by the Vice Principal that, he (the Principal) has a threshold to supply. We find this to be a conflict of interest under the Act (Procurement Act of 2003, Act 663.)
UNTRAINED TEACHERS’ DIPLOMA IN BASIC EDUCATION (UTDBE) ACCOUNTS No. 5271130002246 – GCB DAMBAI BRANCH.
The UTDBE Accounts was opened in 2007 for the UTDBE program which ended in 2011. The accounts ceased to be operational after the program in the 2011/2012 academic year. However, till date, the account is being used by the Principal and the Bursar. All UTDBE students who come for their certificates are made to pay GHc 130.00 into the account as Certificate collection fee and some other fees. Since officially the program has ended in 2011/2012 academic year, the account is not being audited because it is not in the books of the college. We therefore demand an investigation into the account.
STUDENTS DENIED FOOD FROM THE DINING HALL BY THE PRINCIPAL
Because the fees were so exorbitant, most students were not able to pay in full as demanded by the Principal. As a result, the Principal ordered that they should not be fed. For eight (8) weeks or more, those students were denied food and had to feed themselves. However, the students eventually paid in full, while the number of weeks they were denied food was not refunded to them. Meanwhile, the Government pays feeding fees for students of Colleges of Education. Therefore, the students were not supposed to be denied food in the hall.