Saturday, October 24, 2020

Domelevo’s name removed from suit challenging his leave directive

The Supreme Court has struck out names of the Auditor General Daniel Domelovo and acting Auditor General Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu in a suit challenging the President’s directive for the Auditor-General to proceed on leave.

CDD-fellow and US-based Ghanaian lawyer Professor Kwaku Asare sued the Attorney General and the two others over the President’s directive to the Auditor General to proceed on leave.

It was the case of the applicant that the directive by the President is unconstitutional and must be reversed.

In Court on Wednesday when the case was called before a seven-member panel chaired by Justice Jones Dotse, the apex court struck out their names after the Attorney General made an oral application for them to be removed.

Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah prayed the court for the 2nd (Domelvo)and 3rd (Akuamoah Asiedu) defendants’ names to be struck out of the case explaining that it is the AG that is required to be a defendant in all civil actions of such nature.

Eric Ayibor, counsel for the applicant did not oppose.

The court presided over by Justice Dotse said there was no legal basis for their names to be on the application and subsequently struck out their names.

Meanwhile, an intended interlocutory injunction that was supposed to have been moved seeking an order directing Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu to cease and desist from performing the role of an Acting Auditor-General was also struck out after his name was removed from the suit.

The only defendant left in the matter is the AG and the matter has been adjourned to take its normal course.

Background

The President on July 4,2020 directed Auditor General Daniel Domelevo to proceed on his accumulated leave. He also directed the Auditor General to hand over to his deputy who will act while he goes on the over 120 days leave.

But in a suit, the KPMG Professor of Accounting is praying the 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”

The lecturer says the action by the President undermines democratic governance in the country.

Below are details of the reliefs he is seeking from court

Prof Kwaku Asare wants 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 wants 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 this Court deems necessary in the exercise of its legal and equitable powers. Cost for court expenses and legal service fees.

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