June 22, 2024
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Supreme Court adjourns IMANI Africa’s case on presidential powers

The Supreme Court has adjourned a case filed by Imani Africa and Security Analyst Prof Kwesi Aning challenging the powers of the President to terminate the appointment of key public officers including the Inspector General of Police, Chief Fire Office and Comptroller General of Immigration Service except for stated misbehaviour.

The case was called for hearing on Thursday, May 23, but that did not happen as the state has yet to file its responses.

The legal representative of the state requested seven days to file the appropriate responses, a plea that has been granted by the apex court.

In a writ filed in association with security analyst, Prof Kwesi Aning, the plaintiffs are asking the apex court to issue a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the letter and spirit of Articles 200, 202(1), 202(2), 202(3), 205, 207(1), 207(2), 207(3), 190(1), 191,196, 199, and 269 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana has no authority to terminate the appointment or removal from office heads of the agencies unless only upon proven stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against these office holders.

These offices included the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director General of Prisons Service and Comptroller General of Immigration Service.

Again, the two are seeking a declaration that “…The President of the Republic of Ghana upon assumption of Office does not have the power to make a fresh appointment to the office of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director General of Prisons Service and Comptroller General of the Immigration Service unless the immediate holder of the office is deceased…..”.

They are also seeking relief that the appointment of the heads of these uniformed security services by a new president who has been voted into power and sworn into office is unconstitutional.

Providing more details to back their case, the two argued that there are concerning trends where new governments compel the termination of the appointment of these heads while disregarding their constitutional rights.

“In some cases, these removals occur before the individual occupants of the office reach the statutory retirement age.

“For instance in 2017, the then Director-General of the Prisons Service, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator was asked to proceed on leave at the age of 54 and subsequently another was appointed in his stead,” part of the writ read.

They are, therefore, demanding a consequential order to restrain or prevent the President of the Republic from dismissing or removing or attempting to dismiss or remove the appointment of persons occupying the offices of the Chief Fire Officer of the Fire Service; Inspector General of Police; Director-General of Prisons Service, Comptroller General of Immigration Service unless only in cases of proven and stated misconduct or misbehaviour established against such persons or upon retirement or resignation or death or incapacity to perform the functions of the office because of infirmity of body and mind.

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