June 13, 2024
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Akufo-Addo’s 167-day forced leave directive to Domelevo ‘unconstitutional’ – Supreme Court determines unanimously

The Supreme Court of Ghana has determined, in a unanimous decision, that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s directive to Daniel Yaw Domelevo to proceed on a protracted leave, while he was the Auditor-General, is unconstitutional.

Also, the apex court determined as unconstitutional, the president’s appointment of an Acting Auditor-General during that leave period.

Following a letter of protestation to the president’s 123-day ‘proceed on leave’ directive, Mr Domelevo incurred an additional 44 more forced leave days in a response from the presidency, making it 167 days, effective 1 July 2020.

Civil society groups and individuals condemned the directive and sought an interpretation from the apex court.

One of them was US-based Ghanaian law professor, Kwaku Asare, who sued the Attorney General over the matter.

Prof Asare, in a suit, prayed to the Supreme Court for “a declaration that the President’s appointment of Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu to act as the Auditor-General is inconsistent with or is in contravention of the letter and spirit of articles 187(1), 187(7)(a)”.

“An order directing the president, his agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description to cease and desist from issuing directives to the Auditor-General”.

Read his full prayer to the court below:

Prof Kwaku Asare wanted the Supreme Court to declare that except for stated grounds in Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution, the Auditor-General’s tenure cannot be disturbed by presidential directives, whether couched as accumulated leave, involuntary leave, suspension, interdiction, temporary removal, disciplinary control, or however styled, and he may remain in office until he attains the compulsory retirement age of 60.

He also wanted the court to declare that the President’s directive to the Auditor-General to hand over all matters relating to his office to Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu is inconsistent with or is in contravention with the letter and spirit of Articles 187(1) and 187(7)(a) of the Constitution, 1992.

A declaration that the president’s appointment of Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu to act as the Auditor-General is inconsistent with or is in contravention of the letter and spirit of Articles 187(1), 187(7)(a).

An order directing the president, his agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description to cease and desist from issuing directives to the Auditor-General.

An order directing the president, his agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description to cease and desist from exercising disciplinary control over the Auditor-General.

An order directing the president, his agents, assigns, privies, servants and whomsoever of whatever description to cease and desist from assessing the work, including the financial administration, of the Auditor-General.

An order directing the Auditor-General to resume performing his constitutional functions.

An order directing Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu to cease and desist from performing the role of an Acting Auditor-General.

An order invalidating any decisions taken by Mr Akuamoah Asiedu subject to ratification by the Auditor-General.

An order of interlocutory injunction to restrain Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu from performing the functions of Acting Auditor-General, pending the final determination of the substantive suit.

An expedited hearing of the motion for injunction and the substantive cause given the important financial watchdog role played by the Auditor-General and the irreparable harm that any delay will cause to the financial systems and the integrity of the Constitution.

Any other reliefs that the court deems necessary in the exercise of its legal and equitable powers. Cost for court expenses and legal service fees.

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