MP challenges continuous stay in office by MMDCEs

The Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi Constituency, in the Volta Region, Mr Rockson-Nelson Dafeamokpor, is challenging the continuous stay in office by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

The MP is arguing that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive to MMDCEs to remain in office is unconstitutional.

Mr Dafeamokpor has,therefore, filed a writ at the Supreme Court(SC) seeking an interpretation and enforcement of Articles 243(1) and 246(3) of the 1992 Constitution, to remedy the alleged unconstitutional directive of the President.

The plaintiff, in the writ filed by his counsel, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, is seeking to invoke the original jurisdiction of the highest court of the land under Articles 2(1) and 130(1) of the 1992 Constitution.

On January 11, 2021, President Akufo-Addo directed all MMDCEs to remain in office in acting capacity until further notice.

It is the contention of Mr Dafeamokpor that the Presidential directive violates Articles 243(1) and 246(2) of the 1992 Constitution and is consequently unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect.

According to him, since the Presidential directive was issued pursuant to Article 243(3) of the 1992 Constitution, it could be reasonably inferred that the President exercised his powers under Article 243(3)(b) to remove all MMDCEs who were at post immediately before the issuance of the said directive from office.  

Mr Dafeamokpor said that having removed the said MMDCEs from office, the President directed the same to continue in office in an acting capacity until further notice.

He stated that the President purportedly instructed the said acting MMDCEs “not to take a decision involving a policy issue” in accordance with section 14(5) of the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 Act 843.

Mr Dafeamokpor said the position or office of a MMDCEs was a creation of the 1992 Constitution, and was also part of the broader decentraliSation and local governance architecture enshrined in chapter 20 of the 1992 Constitution. 

“As such, all matters relating to the appointment, tenure or term of office, emoluments and removal from office of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly Chief Executives are determined, governed and regulated by the 1992 Constitution itself.”, he said.

Mr Dafeamokpor said “Because such matters are specifically catered for by the 1992 Constitution, any act or decision relating to such matters must strictly comply with the relevant provisions of the Constitution that specifically deal with such matters, else the act or decision will be deemed inconsistent with the Constitution and consequently null and void and of no legal effect. “

Making reference to case law, Nii Addo stated that the “ Court has held in Ghana Bar Association v Attorney-General (Abban case)[1] and Yeboah v J.H. Mensah[2] that when the Constitution provides a specific method or procedure or remedy in going about or dealing with a particular matter, it is that particular procedure that must be adopted and no other else. “

BY MALIK SULLEMANA


 

 

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