It’s unconstitutional for 6mths extension for assets declaration – OccupyGhana

 OccupyGhana, a pressure group, has challenged the extension of  time for public office holders to declare their assets and liabilities by six months, and describes it as unacceptable.

It said the six-month extension was not consistent with the 1992 Constitution, hence the need to correct it by deleting section of the Act, and  threatened to bring an action at the Supreme Court to correct an alleged constitutional inconsistency of the Declaration of Assets and Disqualification Act.

The group said when that provision, the last sentence in the Declaration of Assets and Disqualification Act was deleted, it would bring the Act into conformity with the constitution, however, if the Attorney General and Minister of Justice disagree, it would have no option than to bring an action in the Supreme Court under Article 2 of the constitution for a declaration sentence was inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 286(1) of the constitution.

This was contained in the letter to the Attorney General which said declaration required under Article 286(1)(a) must occur in advance of, ahead of or prior to “taking office”, under Article 286(1)(b) and (c) must occur exactly on or by the expiry of every four years after taking office, and then exactly on or by the end of a term of office.

“The only instance any public office holder is allowed to make declaration “after” any of  events mentioned in Article 286(1), relates to those who are in office when the constitution came into force on January 7, 1993, and who had until April 6, 1993 to make declarations because that part of Article 286(1) has lapsed before Act 550 was passed in 1998, the Act does not mention it.

“We appreciate underlying principle of constitutional provision declaring assets and liabilities before  taking office, every appointing authority, the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary must insist on declaration being made to the Auditor-General before any prospective appointee takes office.

“It should be done in good time to allow declaration to be verified, vetted by Auditor-General who must then report any adverse findings to relevant appointing authority before  the person takes office and subsequent declaration must occur at same time as or by stated anniversary or end of office,” the letter said.

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