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|Rot At Ghana Law School by octus2008(m): 8:31pm On Oct 29, 2012|
Director, Records officer and Accountant fingered in examination Scandals
One would have thought that the Ghana School of Law, the premier institution that trains lawyers and Judges, was spared the scandals that persisted in some of the nation’s universities, but alas, the professional Bar institution has deepened its credibility crisis following a monumental scandal that has rocked the school.
Among other things, the immediate past director, George Agyeman Sarpong, has retired with an unenviable record of attempts to smuggle his nephew into the recent badge of graduate lawyers even though the nephew did not take part in the qualifying exams.
The Records officer, Peter Worglo has been quietly dismissed for swapping students’ examination records for financial rewards and the Principal Accountant, John Kpatsa is on interdiction for being responsible for leakages of examination papers and helping some students to smuggle pre-scripted answer booklets to the examination center.
This year alone an overwhelming number of 105 students have requested for remark of their exam scripts, raising doubt about the credibility of the school’s academic records.
A teaching staff who confided in THE HERALD said “the number of students asking for remark in the 2011/2012 academic year is unprecedented and is very embarrassing to the teaching staff”.
THE HERALD’S information is that some students are contemplating taking a class action against the school’s authorities for being unfairly prejudiced against them, given the school’s refusal to consider the re-mark request put in by the 105 affected students, after having taken from them GH¢100 per a subject.
The students were merely told that they did not give tangible reasons to warrant a re-marking, however, their monies running into hundreds of thousands of cedis would not be refunded.
Interestingly, some students who are connected to some influential or clout-wielding lawyers have gotten their re-mark and had been passed despite anomalies being detected in the re-marking.
In some instances, exams papers were deliberately withheld just to fail a student. For example, a student from Kumasi, had his result withheld and his call to the bar refused, because his ex-employers in the Ashanti Region had demanded for the result not to be released as he owed the company some money.
Enter Mr. Peter Worglo, the Records officer of the Ghana Law School: he is alleged to have been collecting moneys ranging from Gh¢1000 to Gh¢2000 from students who did not do well in some subjects and swapped their marks for those who had done well in those subjects, until his nefarious conduct was recently exposed.
He has since been dismissed with the school’s management including the General Legal Council chaired by Chief Justice Georgina Wood, remaining silent on the matter to avoid public backlash.
According to a student, the school is ran like a prison where students are cowed into submission by the status quo which is plagued with favouritism and unprofessional conducts.
Details of the conduct of Mr. Sarpong, who presided over the rot and actively participated in the act, suggests that but for the vigilance of some aggrieved students, one Mr. Kweku Budu Agyemang, a nephew of his, would have been called to the Bar although he did not take part in the final exams.
The former Director is said to have clandestinely inserted his nephew’s name on the list of the new lawyers to be enrolled in 2012 by the General Legal Council which superintend legal education in the country.
Information gathered by the paper indicates that Budu was enrolled in the Ghana Law School in 2009 but had deferred the course in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Fordham University in the United States of America, hence was not even in the country when his colleagues were writing the final exams.
“I was shocked when I saw The Director’s nephew’s name on the pass list, knowing that he had never sat for the exams: I felt ashamed that I have passed through a system like this for two years”, a newly graduated lawyer told THE HERALD.
According to a staff, Mr. Sarpong in realizing the lid has been blown, clandestinely went to the office on a Sunday and effected the change, backdated the list and undersigned.
“This clearly is a preposterous act of criminality on the part of the Director”, charged another aggrieved student who also did not want to be mentioned for obvious reasons. Mr. Sarpong is said to have bent the rules of professionalism at the behest of the General Legal Council and has been accused of giving students a raw-deal as and when it suited him.
Some students who applied for the 2012/2013 admission of the school have complained that their names were initially on the admission list but were later replaced with that of people from London and the United States of America who had not even gone through the compulsory interview process which was also administered by Mr. Sarpong.
It is being rumoured around the School that Mr. Sarpong, instead of being reprimanded for the lackadaisical and whimsical manner he ran the school, was rather nominated for appointment to the Supreme Court by the Chief Justice, but for an eventual rejection.
Last Saturday when THE HERALD called Mr. Sarpong on the issues, he said he wanted a questionnaire on them to be delivered to his office so he could answer. Asked whether he knew a certain Kweku Budu Sarpong, he said he was driving on a highway and could, therefore, not talk, and in addition he was not sure of the identity of the questioner.
Mr. Sarpong is said to be well-connected and wields a lot of influence on many of the judges in the courts and the legal council and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA). Some members of the GBA are also said to be tutors at the Law School.
Mr. Peter Worglo, on his part, confirmed he no longer worked for the Ghana Law School, but declined to give the circumstances under which he left the place.
Meanwhile, the Chief Examiner, Mr. Kwesi Prempeh in whose tenure the most of the malpractice took place, is now the Director of school.
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