Applicants filed writ in support of creation of new regions

Three persons have filed a writ at the Supreme Court (SC) in support of the Attorney-General (A-G) and the Electoral Commission (EC) for the creation of six new administrative regions in the country.

 

The applicants are Mr. Yidana Zakaria, Nana Boakye-Mensah and Mr. Robert Nachinadi who are indigenes of the areas designated for the creation of North East and Oti Regions.

 

The three acting through their lawyer, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, have applied to the court for leave to file Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of the AG and EC, who have already been sued by three other people, Mayor Agbleze, Destiny Awlimey and Jean-Claude Koku Amenyaoglo, against the holding of the referendum and thereby describing the government’s action as unconstitutional.

 

Issue for determination by the court is: “Whether or not it is unconstitutional to restrict the referendum, to determine the creation of the new regions, to the areas designated by the Commission of inquiry as the proposed new regions.”

 

According to the applicants, they had been keenly monitoring the proceedings in the pending suit against the AG and EC, and that “our afore-mentioned endeavour seeks to provide the honourable court with relevant information for the purpose of advancing the defendants’/ respondants’’ case which to the best of our knowledge, represents the advancement and wellbeing of the afore-mentioned territories of Ghana.”

 

It is a fact that the Council of State advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on August 15, 2017, to appoint a commission of enquiry to inquire into the need to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of new regions.

 

The commission, which was accordingly established pursuant to Constitutional Instrument, C.I. 105, and under the chairmanship of Justice S.A. Brobbey, started work on November 21, 2017, in the Western Region and handed over its report to the President on June 27, 2018, recommending the creation of six new administrative regions to be carved out of four existing regions namely, Western, Northern, Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions.

 

The six proposed regions are, Oti, Ahafo, Brong-East, Western North, North East and Savannah.

 

Pursuant to Article 5 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, the Commission made a recommendation to President Akufo-Addo to the effect that places where the referendum should be held be limited to the proposed new regions to the exclusion of all.

 

The recommendations were forwarded to the Electoral Commission (EC) by the President Pursuant to Article 5 (5) of the 1992 Constitution, for the referendum to be held in a manner prescribed by the EC from which December 27, 2018, has been set for the exercise (referendum) on the creation of the proposed six new regions.

 

In their submissions, the representatives pointed out that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 5 of the Constitution, 1992, the referendum for the purpose of the creation of a new region should be restricted to the prospective new region to the exclusion of the entire parent or existing region.

 

They further said that contrary to the submissions of the three plaintiffs i.e. Mayor Agbleze, Destiny Awlimey and Jean-Claude Koku Amenyaoglo, to the contention that the constitution does not make express provision as to the place where the referendum shall take place, “the Constitution actually does in plain or literal terms: Articles 5 (4) and 5 of the Constitution”.

By Castro Zangina-Tong  

 

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