An Accra High Court has ordered the reinstatement and subsequent compensation of two employees of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), David Yankson and Dora Bonnah who were demoted over their alleged role in the procurement of ‘expired’ chemical(Aluminium Sulphate) for use by the company in the treatment of water.
The Court ordered the company to reinstate David Appiah Yankson and Ms Dora Adwoa Bonnah, to their previously held positions as Acting Head of Materials Department at its head office and Acting Chief Manager respectively.
GWCL was also ordered by the court to pay the two, all the benefits and payment of all monies due to them.
Furthermore, the Court presided over by Justice Alex Owusu, awarded a cost of GH¢20,000.00 in favour of the plaintiffs against the defendant ( GWCL) and also set aside their demotion, which it described as “wrong unjustified, disciplinary action taken against the plaintiffs”.
The two were demoted on April 12, 2013, following the recommendation a committee set up and charged to investigate the alleged importation and usage of ‘expired’ Aluminium Sulphate by the company.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Standards Authority had declared the water purifying chemical compound as wholesome in its report.
In its judgment, the court said it found as a fact that no internal Disciplinary Committee was set up after the work of the Ministerial Committee on the alleged importation and usage of expired Aluminium Sulphate.
However, “The Committee without framing any charges or giving notice or giving a personal hearing to the plaintiffs, sent the report containing its recommendation to the Managing Director for action to be taken on it.
“The plaintiffs were not given a copy of the report. The then Acting Managing Director, acting on the report, demoted the plaintiffs, a punishment not provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011.”
The Court therefore declared the above action of the then Managing director relative to the demotion of the plaintiffs as null and void, ultra vires, and of no effect.”
According to the Court, the disciplinary procedure of the Company hinged on its Collective Bargaining Agreement but that was not followed by the GWCL.
“I hold the view that the defendant had not succeeded in justifying the demotion slapped on the plaintiffs,” the court ruled.
In March 2015, the plaintiffs filed a writ seeking an order of the court to set aside the wrongful and unjustified disciplinary actions taken against them by the company(GWCL).
Per their reliefs, the plaintiffs also sought an order for reinstatement to their former positions with full benefits and payments of all monies due them.
They further prayed the Court for general damages for unfair, unjust and wrongful demotion, shock, pain and suffering.
The two were ordered to be interdicted on the directive of the then Sector Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing following the allegation of used expired Aluminium Sulphate by the Ghana Water Company Limited(GWCL), and the matter referred to the National Security for Investigations.
David Yankson and Dora Bonnah, however, denied any wrongdoing.