Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The University of Ghana lecturers exposed in BBC Sex For Grades documentary have been cleared of acts of sexual misconduct

Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor, the two University of Ghana lecturers exposed for allegedly asking students for sex in exchange for grades in a documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), have been exonerated by a fact-finding committee set up by the university.

According to the fact-finding committee, the lecturers were cleared of any act of sexual misconduct because there is no evidence that they breached the university’s policy on sexual harassment.

Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor were however found guilty of engaging in acts that caused embarrassment to the university. The committee advised the university authorities to refer them to the university’s disciplinary committee for appropriate action.

A statement by the fact-finding committee read in parts;

“The committee finds that on the totality of the evidence before it, there is a huge variance between the import of the title: ‘Sex for grades’, and the content of the actual secret video recording of the affected lecturers of the University of Ghana.

“The committee notes that neither the documentary nor the BBC has provided any evidence to demonstrate that the affected lecturers demanded sex in exchange for grades, as asserted by the title of the documentary: ‘Sex for grades’.”

Joy News reported that the committee further noted that the title of the documentary  ‘Sex for grades’ was sensational and misleading. It was also alleged that evidence on record showed that the two alleged victims in the video — Zara and Abigail — were not members of the university.

The statement added;

“Consequently, the committee notes that in the absence of any evidence that Zara and Abigail are students or members of the University of Ghana, the provisions of paragraphs 10.1, 12.1 and 12.4 of the Code of Conduct for Senior Members of the University of Ghana and the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy of the university cannot be triggered against the affected lecturers.”

It was however learnt that Paragraph 10.1 of the Code of Conduct for Academic Staff of the University of Ghana stipulates: “Academic staff shall refrain from any type of harassment or discrimination against students and shall adhere to the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy of the university.”

Paragraph 12.1 of the code says: “Academic staff are prohibited from engaging in sexual or amorous behaviour with students,” while Paragraph 12. 4 says: “Academic staff are bound by the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy of the university.”

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