Citizenry have role to enforce Constitution – Kwasi Prempeh

The Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), Professor Kwasi Prempeh, has asserted that the citizenry has a role to enforce the 1992 Constitution.

“The constitution does not only speak to the judiciary, it speaks to every public officer, every citizen so we all have a role to enforce it so we should stop pretending as though the Constitution is technical but it is not,” he noted.

Prof. Prempeh indicated that citizens could go to the court to enforce the Constitution but in the new culture of ‘go to court’, they should be careful of what they were signalling and asked Dr John Kumah, the Deputy Minister of Finance to stop “pretending” as though the constitution was technical because it was not.

Discussion surrounding conflict of interest in the positions of Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance and Charles Adu-Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance came to light after an ace Ghanaian broadcaster, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, expressed his surprise at the government for constantly employing services of a company co-founded by Mr Ofori-Atta-Data Bank Financial Services – as advisors for some of Ghana’s international loan transactions.

Mr Darkwah alleged it may be the reason the country kept borrowing, a habit that could not be allowed to continue and lashed out at Parliament for keeping quiet about such an issue which seemed to be the contention surrounding conflict of interest allegation levelled against the Minister of Finance and Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, is far from over.

Prof. Prempeh, cautioned against going to court for such cases to be handled by the Judiciary knowing how it would churn out which was not helpful to the Judiciary which would lead to pliant judiciary and not solution to the challenges.

“We have responsibility to enforce the Constitution while acknowledging powers of the judiciary because the laws are clearly spelt out, and thus, must be adhered to and we accept judicial review as part of constitutionalism and courts have a role and also they have the last word when there are disputes of this kind.

But courts are better off avoiding [some of such cases to avoid destroying the last line of defence since courts have final determination but it is not infallible, it does make mistakes and asking people who feel pained with the development regarding conflict of interest to go to court was not the right thing to say.

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