On February 14, 2023, a group of approximately 100 individuals claiming to be University of Ghana students and continuing members of Commonwealth Hall staged an illegal procession that culminated in an attempt to forcibly enter Commonwealth Hall, leading to a violent confrontation with University Security and Police Officers stationed there.
Eighteen members of the group were subsequently arrested, and it was later confirmed that some of the arrested individuals were not students of the University of Ghana.
According to a press release from the University of Ghana's Office of the Registrar, the group was attempting to enforce an order of the High Court, Accra presided over by Justice Francis Obiri against the University.
The order pertained to injunction applications filed against the University in relation to its New Residence Policy, which had been communicated to students in a notice dated December 14, 2022.
While the University had received an ex parte order on January 6, 2023, restraining it from implementing a decision on a residence policy dated October 26, 2022, it maintained that it had not implemented such a policy and that it was instead implementing a decision of the University Council, a body set up by law to govern the University, which included representatives of students and faculty.
By the time the ex parte order was made, the University had already implemented its new residential policy, and most affected students had accepted residency in the reassigned halls.
The second order of the Court was obtained on February 9, 2023, and served on the University on February 14, 2023, the same day as the illegal procession and breach of peace by the group.
The University instructed its lawyers to appeal the order and apply to stay its enforcement, while the security agencies restored calm on campus, and teaching, learning, and research continued.
The University warned students against engaging in violent conduct, reminding them that the University Statutes and Student Regulations provide channels for seeking redress. Any student who attempts to disrupt the peace on campus will be dealt with according to the laws and regulations of the University.
Signed by Emelia Agyei-Mensah (Mrs.), the Registrar of the University of Ghana, the press release updates on the new residential arrangements and matters arising from the recent disturbances on campus.