Creation of new ministries illegal – MP

Mr. Richard Quashigah, the Member of Parliament for the Keta Constituency, has admonished President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to respect the laws of the country while in a “hurry” to get things done.

According to the Keta MP, the President has violated sections of the Civil Service (Amendment) Act, 2001, Act 600, in creating new ministries.

To him, Section 11(3) of the amended Act which states that “subject to the constitution, the President may by an executive instrument published in the Gazette, establish a ministry or re-designate a ministry” has been breached by the President.

Contributing to the debate on the President’s State-of-the-Nation Address last Friday, Mr. Quashigah said his checks at the Ghana Publishing Company Limited (GPCL) revealed that the new ministries created by the President have not been Gazetted.

He said official correspondence from the GPCL indicated that the only executive instruments gazetted this year, as of January 6, were renewed curfews in Bunkprugu, Bimbilla, Kpatinga, Nkonya and Alavanyo townships adding that no such instrument has been gazetted since the President took over January 7.

This, he said, was a manifestation that “the President is not paying attention to details”.

His argument was, however, immediately shot down by his colleagues on the majority side of the House.

Effutu MP and a private legal practitioner, Alex Afenyo Markin, who took the floor after the Keta MP said Mr. Quashigah had failed to establish that the President violated any section of the Act.

He said the President is an experienced lawyer with landmark successes in the legal profession and couldn’t have violated the law.

Some majority MPs who jeered at Mr. Quashigah challenged him to seek redress at the law court if he was convinced the President had breached the law.

Asked by The Ghanaian Times after proceedings if he would take up the challenge and seek interpretation of the law, Mr. Quashigah said he was not interested in going to court but urged the President to do the “honourable” by gazetting the new ministries if he still hasn’t done that.

The GPCL document dated January 23 on executive instruments gazetted this year corroborated Mr. Quashigah’s claim

President Akufo-Addo has created some new ministries some of which include Railway and Aviation.

Though these ministries existed under the erstwhile John Agyekum Kufuor administration, it is unclear if the President has to gazette them again if that has been done before.

By Julius Yao Petetsi    

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