Some fourteen (14) people including the Board Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana’s Premier Referral Health facility, have been dragged to court for what is being described as wrongful interdiction of the Specialist Pharmacist of the Hospital.
On March 24, 2016, a letter written and signed by Mr. Samuel Akutua Atweri for and on behalf of Dr Gilbert Buckle, CEO of the Hospital interdicted the Applicant, Charles Ofei-Palm on grounds that he granted an interview to Class 91.3 Fm on matters bothering on the management of the Hospital without recourse to the Media Policy of the Hospital, thereby constituting a breach.
The said letter also indicated that, the Applicant, Charles Ofei-Palm’s pronouncements during the said interview constitute misrepresentation of facts and peddling of falsehood.
The letter went on to state that, “Pronouncements made during the said interview tarnished the image of the hospital and also brought the name of the Hospital into disrepute.”
“Pronouncements constitute an act prejudicial to the management of the Hospital,” the interdiction letter stated.
Meanwhile, in a writ filed at the Human Rights Division of the High Court, against Prof. Anthony Mawuli Sallar, Dr Gilbert Buckle, Prof. Jennifer Wellbeck, Mr. Robert KempesOfosuware, Mrs. Perpetual Praise Annan, Mr. Henrietta Paidoo, Dr. Samuel Asiamah, Mrs. Florence Ama Nkansah, Mr. Benjamin Abrakwa, Mrs. Victoria Quaye, Mr. Nurudeen Mohammed, Mr. Kwame Gyamfi, Mr. Samuel Akutu Atweri and Mr. Stephen Pedison Aryeh (all except Mr. Kwame Gyamfi, Mr. Samuel Akutu Atweri and Mr. Stephen Pedison Aryeh, being board members), the Applicant indicated that, his interdiction was wrong since the pre-condition requirements were not satisfied before he was interdicted.
He stated in his supporting Affidavit that, the precondition requirements have been provided under the Hospital’s Disciplinary Policies and Procedures as reflected in the Ghana Health Service Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.
He averred that, by the stated Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures the C.E.O can interdict a staff after certain conditions have been satisfied, but these have been glossed over by the C.E.O who deemed it appropriate to sack him without recourse to laid down procedures.
The Applicant mentioned in his Affidavit that, before an act of interdiction can take place, the offence is first reported by the officer-in-charge of the Unit under which the offending staff works, and the said officer shall document the incident and make formal report within three working days to his immediate superior authority where applicable.
“That the officer-in-charge shall institute a preliminary investigation into the case to establish its authority and further details within three working days of the receipt of the report.
…. that the investigation take the form of interview with the person concerned or letter of enquiry and inspection of documents and premises. That where the result of the preliminary investigation point conclusively to a minor offense, the officer-in-charge shall apply the appropriate sanctions within three working days.”
He also pointed out that, but where the results point to a major offense the officer-in-charge shall proceed with formal disciplinary proceedings and take any action including interdiction, issuance of query or setting up a committee of inquiry.
The Applicant, Charles Ofei-Palm stated that, all the above stated grounds of interdiction have not been met before the action was taken to sack him from his position; hence the position to take legal action against the Board and management for the action since it is against his fundamental human rights.
He also stated that after serving the affected parties, the Disciplinary Committee decided to meet on April 6, 2016 to hear his side of the story of the alleged misconduct.
However, having been satisfied that the Applicant had not been served with notice to appear, their Chairperson postponed the Disciplinary Committee hearing and directed that he (the Applicant) be served with notice to appear before the Committee.
“That notwithstanding the awareness of Suit No. HR/0049/2016, Respondents acting through the 2nd Respondent upon purported recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee terminated my employment by virtue of a letter dated 6th April, 2016.” he said.
The Applicant, Charles Ofei-Palm stated that, the Respondents having been made aware of the writ shouldn’t have gone ahead to draft and execute his termination letter but doing so, they interfered with the administration of justice and Contempt of Court.
He prayed the Court to grant his application to declare his interdiction null and void and commit the Respondent to prison for Contempt and for defying the authority of the court.
Source: KAY AGBENYEGA